Two Palestinian laborers died before dawn on Tuesday when a fire ripped through the storage facility where they were sleeping at Moshav Beit Nehemia near Ben-Gurion Airport. Another Palestinian, 25, was injured escaping the fire.

The two Palestinians, both from Nablus, were in Israel illegally, an initial police probe into the fire concluded.

The Magen David Adom emergency service received a distress call at approximately 4:40 a.m. reporting a fire that was raging in an equipment storage facility in Beit Nehamia. Rescue services and fire crews rushed to the scene, and after extinguishing the flames firefighters discovered the bodies of two men in their early 40s who worked in a nearby factory.

They also found an injured 25-year-old man who was promptly rushed to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center in Tzrifin. His injuries were described as light.

“We received a call about a large fire in a storage room,” said the MDA paramedic who rushed to the scene. “A young man in his 20s was lightly hurt and subsequently evacuated to hospital having suffered from smoke inhalation and bodily injuries. He said that there were two other men in the facility.”

“This was a very big fire,” said Gil Nadav, another paramedic.

“Firefighters at the scene reported to us that there might be people trapped inside the building. It was only after the fire was extinguished and the thick smoke dissipated that we were able to go inside. We searched the premises and we found two men in their early 40s with no signs of life. There was nothing left for us to do but pronounce them dead at the scene.”

Police and fire inspectors have launched an investigation.

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