Jerusalem fire may have been result of arson, fire officials fear

The fire, which was contained shortly before 8 p.m., was originally believed to have been started due to negligence by a local farmer, according to a Fire and Rescue Services official.

August 3, 2015 16:58
1 minute read.

Fire in Evan Sapir

Fire in Evan Sapir


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

A fire that rampaged throughout the Jerusalem area Sunday morning forcing over 700 residents to evacuate the area may have been the result of arson, sources in the Jerusalem Fire Department investigative unit said Monday.

Evidence collected at the epicenter of Sunday's fire indicates that a deliberate arson attack may have been the cause of the blaze, though the investigation remains open and no conclusions have been made, the investigative unit added.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

The inferno, which was contained shortly before 8 p.m., was originally believed to have been started due to negligence by a local farmer, according to a Fire and Rescue Services official.

More than 700 residents of Moshav Even Sapir and the Ein Kerem neighborhood near Hadassah University Medical Center in southwest Jerusalem were forced to evacuate their homes Sunday as 50 firefighting teams and eight airplanes worked to control a blaze that threatened the area.

Several homes, at least two buildings and a large chicken coop in Even Sapir were damaged by the blaze, though the hospital was never in imminent danger, an official said. At least three firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation, he added.

Even Sapir resident Itsik Sasson described a chaotic scene as firefighters went door-to-door to evacuate each house in the small community as the blaze drew closer.

“The fire started climbing from the wadi up toward the neighborhood,” said Sasson. “According to what I know now, one house is on fire and a chicken coop was damaged. The fire has entered the community and the police are evacuating residents.”

Sasson continued, “I haven’t seen much because they won’t let me too close to the area, but there is a real frenzy, a big mess - loads of police.”

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the entire moshav was evacuated and cordoned off, and police temporarily closed down Routes 395 and 386 leading to the community, as well as the eastbound lanes of Route 1 toward Jerusalem. Drivers were instructed to use Route 443 as an alternate route to travel from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv until the blaze was contained.

Related Content

Stacks of Israeli shekel notes [Illustrative]
August 16, 2018
Food for thought