Three people, including two children aged six and seven, were critically wounded on Thursday in a rampaging fire that injured a family of 11 and eight residents in a building in Beit Shemesh.
Some of victims, including the two children, were taken to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, near Tel Aviv, and others were taken to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.
Twelve of the victims were children. Five firefighting teams were dispatched to the scene of the incident, where they worked to extinguish the fire. The fire rampaged through a four-story building. The firemen rescued other tenants, who were trapped by the smoke.
"We arrived at Hazon Ish Street in Beit Shemesh because of reports of flames in an apartment on the lower level of the building," the Beit Shemesh fire station reported.
They rescued people trapped in the apartment, including children with special needs. They evacuated the injured tenants through a window and with a crane.
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In October, two children, ages two and four, died in a house fire in the ultra-Orthodox settlement of Beitar Illit. Two other children and an adult in the home were also injured in the incident.