Police arrest second suspect in motel arson attack

Four family members seriously injured in fire - Employee from east Jerusalem fired for stealing said to be involved

Scene of a fire that took place at a motel in Jeursalem's city center on July 27  (photo credit: COURTESY MDA)
Scene of a fire that took place at a motel in Jeursalem's city center on July 27
(photo credit: COURTESY MDA)
Police arrested a second suspect on Sunday in connection with an alleged arson attack Friday at a motel on Hanevi’im Street in which four people were seriously injured.
Police arrested the first suspect on Friday. Both suspects are from east Jerusalem.
Staff at the motel told Channel 10 News the first suspect used to work at the facility and was fired after he was caught stealing from the motel’s rooms.
Police continued the investigation through the weekend and arrested the second suspect on suspicion of conspiring to commit a crime.
Four family members from Petah Tikva were seriously injured in the incident, including a 14-year-old girl, a nineyear- old boy and the children’s parents, both in their 30s. They were evacuated to Shaarei Tzedek hospital.
Another woman was evacuated to Hadassah Hospital suffering from anxiety and two others were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.
An examination conducted by the Fire Protection and Rescue Division of the Jerusalem District found that the motel, in which many of its occupants were trapped during the fire, had been operating without the proper authorizations from fire and rescue services.
Fire and Rescue Division commander Moshe Suissa issued a summons to the owners of the facility for a hearing on Sunday.
“I suspected that the place was operating without proper permits and as a result, many safety measures for protection from fire, heat and smoke, as well as escape exits, were missing or did not exist in the building,” he said.
“In yesterday’s fire, family members were injured, more residents were trapped, and a team of firefighters nearly lost their lives in the heroic rescue of those trapped,” he continued, adding that his division “views gravely the phenomenon of business owners, especially of hostels and hotels in which many citizens are staying, who do not meet the requirements of the law, do not install appropriate fire safety measures and endanger the lives of civilians and fire fighters.”
Businesses that endanger lives will be closed and law enforcement authorities will bring those responsible to justice, Suissa added.