Herzliya spa that caught fire lacked necessary permits

Bank manager killed, two injured in blaze said to be sparked by candle in dry sauna.

Firefighters at Herzliya spa fire site 370 (photo credit: Courtesy Tel Aviv District police)
Firefighters at Herzliya spa fire site 370
(photo credit: Courtesy Tel Aviv District police)
A fire that took the life of a Herzliya man and injured six others Wednesday night was caused by a candle in a spa that lacked both a business permit and a fire permit, fire officials and the Herzliya Municipality said on Thursday.
Yaron Korine, of the Herzliya fire department, said the Delos Spa at the city’s Arena Mall did not have a permit from the fire department and had not passed the relevant tests to receive such a permit.
Korine said fire investigators who returned to the scene on Thursday morning were able to determine that a candle in the dry sauna had caused the fire, which from there spread to other rooms.
Korine said fire personnel had gone from room to room at the spa in order to rescue people who were trapped and suffering from severe smoke inhalation. Those injured included the owner, who was lightly hurt and was being treated for smoke inhalation.
The Herzliya Municipality said on Thursday that the spa had been operating at the site since 2006, and had changed ownership four times. The current proprietor was one of four owners of the spa before it was last sold. At that time it had the necessary permits.
The municipality added that in July the owner renovated the spa and applied for a permit, but did not receive one. He opened the business anyway, the city said.
Tel Aviv Police spokeswoman Orit Friedman said that when the owner is discharged from the hospital, police will question him to establish whether negligence led to the fire.
The dead man was identified as Shalom Bason, a 55- year-old resident of Herzliya and manager of a Bank Hapoalim branch in central Tel Aviv. He was at the spa as part of a leisure day for employees of the branch.
Two other people were seriously injured in the fire, and four were treated for smoke inhalation.