Firemen.Israel news photo: Flash 90

Two disabled women, a mother and daughter aged about 60 and 40, died Sunday night in a fire in a Tel Aviv apartment building.

Firefighting crews broke into a burning apartment on Arlozorov Street in north-central Tel Aviv, and put out the flames. They then discovered the two female bodies.

After an initial investigation, the fire crews believe that the disabilities of the two women made it impossible for them to escape in time or alert help.

Initial assessments are that the fire was caused by a heating stove that caused a mattress to catch fire, but an electrical short circuit is also a possibility. The mattress was apparently the central element in the blaze.

Fire Commissioner Maj. Gen. Shachar Ayalon said that he has repeatedly told the government that mattresses that are not manufactured with fire retardant materials inside them must not be recognized as being up to standard.