The 2010 Carmel Fire claimed the lives of 44 people, including officers with the Israel Prison Service, police and firefighting services. One civilian was also killed – the driver of the bus who was carrying officers on scene.
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Other than devastated families, the disaster has also left dozens of destroyed homes and about 50 dunam of burnt forest area. The fire broke out near the village of Isfiya and erupted to the mountain forest.
Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Israel Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino, Prison Service Chief Jailer Aharon Franco and Fire Service Commissioner Shahar Ayalon arrived at the memorial ceremony to pay their respects to the victims.
MK Eli Yishai, who was interior minister at the time of the fire, also attended the ceremony. Yishai drew great criticism following the fire, and then-State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss determined that Yishai must be held accountable for the devastating results of the Carmel Fire.
Aliza Dayan, the mother of Meishar Shimon Dayan, one of the disaster's casualties, spoke at the ceremony on behalf of the bereaved families, noting "My angel chose to give, serve and risk his life for the Israeli public."
Dayan said that after her son's death, "we were told that time heals everything. That's a lie. As time goes by… the void keeps growing and the realization that you are gone hits harder."
Many of the victims' family members stay in touch all year long. "People don't remember what was here three years ago," the father of the late Shimon Yohai said; "but we – when we get here, can still smell the fire, the glowing embers."
Mordi Chayat, the father of the late Danny Chayat, said the pain was extremely hard when looking at his granddaughter, "who was born two days after the shiva for Danny ended. Next month she will be three."
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