The Abu Tor home where a fire killed five siblings - Courtesy Fant - November 26 2011
The Abu Tor home where a fire killed five siblings, November 26, 2011. Photo by Courtesy Fant
Text size

Five children from one Palestinian family died early yesterday morning after a fire swept through their home in the northern West Bank village of Qaffin. Four other family members, including the children's parents, sustained injuries related to smoke inhalation.

A preliminary investigation indicates that the fire was started by candles lit in a bedroom after a power failure.

The two girls - Aseel and Suheir - and three boys - Ahmad, Mahmoud and Mumen - were between the ages of 5 and 12.

"I don't know what happened, I woke up suddenly and saw people were trying to extinguish the fire," said Bassam Tawfiq Hirsha, the children's father. "I tried to save them but couldn't. I wanted to go in but I couldn't."

Firefighters and Red Crescent ambulances were sent to the scene, where paramedics pronounced the children dead.