Fire at old age home in Bnei Brak 370.
(photo credit: Channel 10)
A fire on Sunday at an old-age home in Bnei Brak left 17 elderly residents
injured – two of them seriously – with staff members later being arrested on
suspicion of forging fire safety permits.
Firefighters were called to the
site early on Sunday by a passerby who noticed smoke and flames emerging from
the building’s third floor.
According to Fire and Rescue Services
spokesman Hezi Tzafania, fire trucks arrived within three minutes, and no
members of the home’s staff were on the premises. Noting the severity of the
fire, the commander of the first crew that arrived immediately requested
Firefighters rushed to the third floor and placed their own
oxygen masks on the faces of many of the residents.
It is believed that
this prevented more people from being seriously hurt.
were hospitalized due to smoke inhalation. Two were in serious
In the hours after the fire, disturbing details began coming
“We know for sure that the owners forged a permit from us and
sent it to the Health Ministry,” a senior Fire and Rescue Services official from
the Bnei Brak station told Israel Radio, adding that the suspects allegedly took
an older permit and altered the dates.
Before the fire, the Health
Ministry became suspicious that the permit had been forged and asked the Fire
and Rescue Services to authenticate it.
After fire authorities said they
had no connection to it, the police were called in and an investigation was
“We were told that the home was shutting down and that I needed
to find a new place for my father,” a man identifying himself as Tamir told
Israel Radio. “They never told us why it was closing, but they said it would be
shut in a matter of days.”
Police arrested the manager and two employees
of the home on Sunday.
The suspects were brought before the Tel Aviv
Magistrate’s Court. During the remand session they said they had not sought the
proper Fire and Rescue Services permit because the home was soon to be
Each was released to house arrest for eight days after posting
bail of NIS 50,000. The court also seized their passports for 180 days and
banned them from approaching the old-age home or contacting one another for a
Fire investigators believe an electrical fault, possibly linked to
the air conditioning system, sparked the blaze.