A woman pulled her seven children, ages 2 to 10, from her home after it caught fire in Safed early Monday morning.
The fire broke out around 3 A.M. in a bedroom at Michal Bashari's Nof Talia home, apparently after one of her sons placed a lamp too close to a mattress on the second floor.
Bashari says she smelled smoke around 1 A.M. She went to inspect the bedroom, where two of her sons, ages 7 and 2, were sleeping, but didn't find anything strange. She decided to move them to the first floor in any case.
"At about 3 A.M. I heard the sound of breaking glass on the second floor," Bashari said Monday. "I went upstairs and the hallway was filled with smoke. I couldn't see anything and there was no power," she said.
The boys' room was on fire and the flames were spreading to the other bedrooms, where three more children were sleeping.
"I wasn't afraid and didn't think of anything, except how to get the children out," Bashari said.
"I entered the first room and pulled one boy out. I went to the next room and pulled out two more children. I don't know how I carried all three downstairs. I shouted 'fire, fire' so that the four children sleeping downstairs would wake up and go outside."
The fire destroyed the home's second floor and caused great damage, before being extinguished by firefighters.
The mother and children were taken to Safed's Rebecca Sieff Hospital for smoke inhalation and were released in good condition.
The family's father and the oldest three children are abroad.
Volunteers from the Livnot U'Lehibanot (To build and be built) movement were expected to arrive at the burned apartment on Tuesday to offer assistance. The movement's volunteers have been operating in the area since the Second Lebanon War, in renovating bomb shelters and offering assistance to area residents. The group has received financial backing for the Jewish Agency's "Partnership 2000."
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