Dozens hurt in Jerusalem fire, residents briefly trapped inside

Fire department says blaze in Givat Mordechai neighborhood may have been preceded by an explosion

Dozens of people were injured Sunday evening when a Jerusalem apartment building caught fire with scores of residents trapped inside, police said.

Firefighters have put out the blaze. At least 36 were said hurt from various causes related to the fire. There were no fatalities.

Six firefighting crews worked to evacuate residents after the fire spread to all levels of the nine-story building on central Shakhal Street in the Givat Mordechai neighborhood, trapping residents of upper-floor apartments.

Police said 23 residents, including 3 young children, were treated for smoke inhalation at the city’s Shaarei Tzedek and Hadassah hospitals.

A spokesperson for Hadassah said one mother and her three children were lightly hurt from smoke inhalation and being treated at the group’s Mt. Scopus hospital.

In all, nine people were taken to Hadassah medical centers, four to the Ein Kerem campus in southern Jerusalem and five to the Mt. Scopus facility in the north. All were lightly hurt.

Shaarei Tzedek reported similar figures late Sunday, with five children and four adults lightly hurt from smoke inhalation being treated at the hospital, a spokesperson said.

According to the Jerusalem fire and rescue department, building residents reported hearing an explosion before the fire broke out.

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