“While searching the building, we found a man with burns, breathless and without a pulse.”
Firefighters inspect the aftermath of a fire, Petah Tikva, March 30, 2020
(photo credit: ZAKA)
A fire that broke out on Sunday night in the Beit Hanna hostel for the mentally ill in Rehovot claimed the life of a 45-year-old resident, injuring 19 others.
While firefighting crews were searching the building, a man with severe burns was evacuated from the room on the first floor where the fire started. He was pronounced dead by Magen David Adom (MDA) paramedics on the spot.
Five fire and rescue crews worked to rescue the remaining 22 residents and three staff members who were left trapped in the burning building.
Nineteen residents were evacuated to the nearby Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot and Shamir Medical Center in Tzrifin with mild symptoms from smoke inhalation.
The circumstances that led to the fire are being investigated.
According to deputy superintendent Lior Sharabi, the commander of the fire station in Rehovot, the fire broke out on the ground floor of the hostel.
MDA paramedics Noam Loubaton and Shimon Parash said that, “while searching the building, we found a man with burns, breathless and without a pulse. We performed medical examinations. Unfortunately, we soon had to determine his death.”
The hostel is home to 23 residents, ranging in age from 30 to 60, all of whom suffer from mental illnesses. They live away from their families accompanied solely by therapists and caretakers.