A residential fire that broke out in Rehovot Monday night claimed the lives of six people – a father and his five children, ages 2-11.
Several people suffered smoke inhalation injuries and were taken to Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot.
Mass Fire and Rescue Services and Magen David Adom emergency services teams were dispatched to the scene, where firefighters struggled to control the flames.
The scene of the fire (Photo: Avi Mualem)
According to available details, around 10 pm Israel's urgent assistance line received a call reporting a residential fire at Rehovot's Najara Street.
Mass emergency response teams rushed to the scene. Chief Superintendent Yair Hezroni told Ynet: "We received a call regarding a residential fire. We don't know how the fire broke out yet. A father and his five children were in a housing unit located in the building's backyard. We think that the children were asleep."
An MDA official told that, "This is a tragic event. Upon arrival at the scene we found an adult and five children, they all suffered extensive burns and were unconscious. We initiated resuscitation protocols but unfortunately, to no avail."
Several eyewitnesses told Ynet that other family members arrived at the scene and watched, horrified, as firefighters battled the flames. The children's mother was among them.
Neighbors gathered near the scene of the fire (Photo: Avi Mualem)
Yoni, a volunteer with the Fire Department recounted the first moments on the scene: "When we arrived the housing unit in the back engulfed in flames.
"Once the firefighters had the flames under control we entered the premises. We first saw the adult and the bodies of four children next to him. We later discovered the body of another child.
"This was one of the most difficult scenes I've ever come across. Those people didn’t stand a chance."
Police sources said the circumstances of the fire were unknow. The Central Police District announced that it will form a special taskforce to probe the fire.
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