scene of the fire in Arad
scene of the fire in AradFire and Rescue Service spokesperson

A resident of the city of Arad perished this morning (Thursday) in a housefire that was witnessed by horrified passersby.

One witness told Israel National News - Arutz Sheva: "The sight of the man, standing at the window and crying out in despair for help while we were helpless and unable to help him, I still see it."

The fire occurred at about 8 a.m., in a four-story building on Arava St. in Arad. The fire broke out in the fourth-floor apartment, and the residents who were alarmed at the sight of the flames discovered that a 30-year-old man who lived in the apartment was standing at the window, desperate for help.

"The man was deaf and mute," the witness said, "and he fumbled with his hands as he stood at the window and cried for help."

The fire department was immediately called to the scene, but according to the residents, about 10 precious minutes passed before the first fire truck arrived. But even then, there was little they could do to attempt to save the victim.

"It turned out that in all of Arad there is no fire truck with a crane capable of reaching the fourth floor, and so the firefighters could only stand below helpless, and they tried to spray water through pipes from the second floor to the fourth floor. But of course, these firefighting efforts were not successful, and only after about half an hour did they manage to bring the flames under control."

This proved to be too long. The victim suffered severe burns and was taken to Soroka Medical Center in critical condition. Several hours later, he succumbed to his injuries.

"It is strange that the city does not have any means of rescue for those who live on the higher floors, in addition to the cranes that don'tt exist, the firefighters did not have any 'trampolines' that allow the residents of the higher floors to jump down without getting injured," the witness explained.