Scene of the fire
Scene of the fireFire and Rescue services spokesperson

One patient died in a fire that broke out overnight Tuesday in one of the wards on the fourth floor of Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva.

Firefighters who worked to extinguish the fire rescued at least 25 other patients, some of whom were connected to oxygen, as well as some of the medical staff.

The firefighting teams are continuing to scan the scene in a search for additional people who may have been trapped in the fire, and are working to remove the smoke and ventilate the floor.

The circumstances of the fire are unknown at this time. Captain Eyal Caspi, Commissioner of Israel's National Fire and Rescue Authority who arrived at the scene, said that a preliminary investigation found that the source of the fire was a mattress in a room.

He added that "the firefighters evacuated the injured patients to a safe place. Cooperation prevented a major disaster here."

Fire and Rescue officials have announced the formation of a special investigation team to examine what caused the fire.