A firefighter in the northern district of the country used skills honed on the job to save his family after an arson attack set their home on fire in the middle of the night.
The blaze broke out on a residential road in the city of Migdal Haemek at around 2 a.m. Monday when two cars parked in the driveway of Kobi Gershon’s home were set on fire, Channel 13 reported.
The flames soon spread to the building itself. Video shot by neighbors showed flames engulfing the front of the building.
Gershon described his rush to save the family after his wife woke him up.
“Even in my darkest dreams I didn’t think I would get to a situation where I need to rescue my own family from my home,” he told the station as he showed a camera crew around the badly damaged home.
“I opened my eyes, I ran to the little girl’s room,” he said. “I looked at the girl in the bed and I saw the [bedroom] window was red.”
As he pulled his daughter out of the room he heard the sound of the glass shattering behind them.
“It was a matter of moments, if the girl had been another moment here in the room she would have been burned,” Gerhson said.
“I shouted to my wife, ‘Go downstairs, quickly downstairs.’ I looked at the front door and I saw that it was red. I understood that there was no way out from there.”
Herding his family to the kitchen and living area at the rear of the two-story building he found that the electricity was out, and the power-operated shutters covering the porch door and rear windows were down.
Gershon lifted the shutters by hand and the family escaped via the porch.
With his family safe, he turned his attention to fighting the fire itself, using a garden hose to tackle the flames until the firefighters arrived.
“In a different situation, if no one there was a firefighter, there is no doubt there would have been fatalities, a million percent,” he said.
— חדשות 13 (@newsisrael13) June 22, 2020
Both vehicles were completely destroyed and there was significant damage to the home.
Police opened an investigation into the incident. Gershon and his family have no known disputes in the community, where the firefighter also volunteers, the report said.