The six-story Merkazim Building takes up some 70,000 square meters (over 17 acres), and houses well over 150 businesses. The Israel Insurance Agents Bureau has opened a hot line that Merkazim Building businesses can call and receive insurance-related information. The fire is suspected to have begun in a tire plant on the bottom floor.
One fire-fighter was seriously injured when the northern part of the building collapsed, and one or two other people were lightly hurt. The fire-fighting crews were unable to put out the fire, because they were not permitted to enter the building for fear it might collapse. They instead attempted to control the blaze, and in fact prevented it from spreading to the nearby gas station. Occupants of nearby buildings were evacuated, and all traffic to the area was diverted to other routes.