The wildfire raging since early Thursday in the Carmel area of northern Israel has claimed the lives of 42 people already, with more people in danger and residential areas being evacuated.
Among the dead were 36 students from the Prison Service guards' course, who were en route to the Damon jail to help evacuate inmates there.
Two police officers and a 16-year-old boy, who rushed to help emergency crews, have also perished.The boy was identified as Elad Rebin from Haifa, who was working as a volunteer firefighter.
The family of Yakir Swisa, 25, from Dimona, were coping with a second family tragedy; his father died three years ago after suffering a cardiac arrest triggered by a terrorist attack at an industrial area in Dimona.
"We are still digesting the loss," said family members. "He was an amazing person. He was always full of joy. We have just gone through such a trauma, and now we must deal with this tragedy."
Maor Ganon, 27, of Gan Yavne, was married and had a three-year-old daughter. His older brother talked about their last meeting: "We went out partying to celebrate my birthday and my son's birthday. That was my present. We were hoping to hear news that he was safe and had saved others."
Oshrat Pinto, 26, of Safed, worked as a prison guard for the past five years at the Neve Tirtze women's prison in Ramle. Her family recounted how one day before her tragic death, Pinto had gone to celebrate Hanukkah at a center for disabled children. The visit had filled her with joy, said Pinto's family members.
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