Woman dies, son injured in Be'er Ya'acov fire

4-year-old in critical condition; firefighting commander: Fire was one of the worst I've ever seen.

A 30-year-old woman was killed and her four-year-old son was critically injured in a fire in their Be'er Ya'acov Thursday afternoon. Large firefighting forces arrived on the scene and doused the flames as Magen David Adom evacuated the mother and her son to Assaf Harofeh Hospital in Tzrifin. "We heard an explosion, which is what prompted us to get up and look through the window," Ilanit, a neighbor, told Army Radio. "We saw flames and thick black smoke coming through the window of the living room of the apartment across the street. We heard screams from the apartment and rushed downstairs but we couldn't get inside. It also took rescue forces that arrived on the scene a long time to get the occupants out, because it was very hard to get inside." The commander of the firefighters said that the apartment was burned to the ground. "When we broke into the apartment we saw that the entire house was burning; flames from floor to ceiling. We literally jumped into a pool of flames; luckily no firefighters were injured." "I have been a firefighter for many years and this is one of the most severe cases I have ever seen," he said. "We risked our lives going in there. It took us a minute to find the mother, then we went back into the fire and located the boy as well. We carried them away and simultaneously tried to douse the flames." Chief of Ramle police, Dep.-Cmdr. Yoram Yifrach, said that an investigation of the incident was initiated. "There is a suspicion that someone tried to light gas, but its all speculation," he said.