Jerusalem family brings grill indoors to warm apartment, start fire

The family brought in the outdoor grill to heat the apartment – which quickly backfired, as they awoke to thick smoke and medical ailments.

A firefighter uses a flashlight amid smoke next to burning vehicles during a protest against the "Global Security Bill'', that right groups say would make it a crime to circulate an image of a police officer's face and would infringe journalists' freedom in the country, in Paris, France, December 5, (photo credit: REUTERS)
A firefighter uses a flashlight amid smoke next to burning vehicles during a protest against the "Global Security Bill'', that right groups say would make it a crime to circulate an image of a police officer's face and would infringe journalists' freedom in the country, in Paris, France, December 5,
(photo credit: REUTERS)

The Youssef family, a family of three living in Jerusalem, had a unique idea to beat the Jerusalem winter chill – lighting a charcoal grill inside their apartment.

According to the Hadassah Hospital spokesperson, the family brought the grill indoors to heat the apartment – a strategy that worked initially, as family members fell asleep in the now-cozy apartment. They awoke a couple of hours later to thick smoke, severe dizziness, chest pain and intermittent loss of consciousness.

Family members of the Youssef family escorted them to Hadassah Mount Scopus ER, where doctors used pure oxygen, among other methods, to treat them.

The family survived primarily due to treatment in Hadassah hospital’s hyperbaric chamber, which increased air pressure by 2-3 times normal levels and allows the victims to intake far more oxygen than usual.

cars stuck in snow Jerusalem snow390 (credit: Aharon Vahab, 24 News Courtesy )cars stuck in snow Jerusalem snow390 (credit: Aharon Vahab, 24 News Courtesy )

Shocking as the incident may be, staff at Hadassah say grill-related smoke inhalation is not uncommon – particularly in poorer areas, where people can’t afford year-round heating solutions.

“It’s important that the public knows that heating a home with a charcoal barbecue can cause carbon-monoxide poisoning,” says Mount Scopus ER Director Dr. Shaden Salameh-Youssef.

Jerusalem’s winter in 2022 was considered especially cold, with winter storm Elpis bringing piles of snow to northern Israel and Jerusalem in late January.