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5-year-old boy dies in house fire in Hebron-area village

Dec. 31, 2014 12:30 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 1, 2015 8:29 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- A five-year-old Palestinian boy died Wednesday morning after a fire broke out in his family home in the southern West Bank village of Beit Awwa southwest of Hebron, Palestinian security sources said.

South Hebron district attorney Alaa Tamimi confirmed that 5-year-old Ammar Raed Sweiti died in the incident. His body was taken to al-Ahli Hospital in the city of Hebron, and local police and the district attorney launched an investigation into the incident.

Local sources said the child was sleeping when his mother went to escort her daughter to the school bus, and when she came back, she saw smoke clouds rising from the house.

The mother shouted for help but fire fighters and ambulances arrived late because the area is relatively far from the nearest civil defense station.

Paramedics for the Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance services said that the boy was found dead in one of the corners in the house. The mother, they said, suffered nervous breakdown as a result of the incident.

Director of the Hebron district civil defense services Anwar al-Mahariq told Ma'an that the fire was caused by a short circuit in an electric heater.

The house consisted of two rooms with a roof of tin sheets and a fore ceiling. The victim, he added, suffered from autism, and was sleeping when the fire broke out.

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