Man arrested on suspicion of starting J'lem forest fire

By MELANIE LIDMAN
July 18, 2011 17:41

 
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A 50-year-old Jewish man from the Beit Zayit suburb of Jerusalem was arrested by police on Monday afternoon on suspicion of being responsible for the forest fire in Jerusalem on Sunday. Police believe the fire started in the man’s courtyard, where he had piled trash next to his house, and then was carried by the wind, jumping from place to place before raging out of control.

Police and fire investigators initially believed that the fire was the result of arson, as it started simultaneously in four different areas. “It seems that the fire jumped from place to place, which is why they thought it was arson,” said Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben Ruby.

The large forest fire in Jerusalem that burned more than 150 dunams on Sunday afternoon was extinguished around midnight on Sunday, firefighters said on Monday. After conducting patrols throughout the night, firefighters announced there was “not even a coal glowing” in the Jerusalem forest early Monday morning.

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