Police and emergency personnel are investigating whether a Jerusalem apartment fire, killing a mother and her four young daughters on Derech Hebron Road in Talpiot early Sunday evening, was a murder-suicide.
While details of the 5 p.m. fire remain unclear, United Hatzalah EMTs and first-responders from its Psycho-trauma Unit were dispatched to the apartment on the major thoroughfare following reports of possible foul play.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the woman was in her 30s, while her children’s ages ranged from 12, to seven, to an infant.
“What we know until now is that firefighters and emergency units were called into Derech Hebron Road in Talpiot after five people were found there unconscious and later pronounced dead,” said Rosenfeld.
“There was serious damage in the apartment and its surrounding area, and an investigation has been opened by police and firefighters to determine the cause of the fire.”
According to an unidentified MDA paramedic, the apartment billowed with smoke when first-responders arrived at the scene.
“I saw smoke coming from the last window on the floor,” the medic said. “I immediately went up along with firefighters, who broke down the door and entered the residence that was full of smoke.
“I saw an unconscious woman approximately in her 30s without a pulse. I provided initial medical checks, but she remained unconscious and shortly thereafter her death was pronounced.”
Authorities have cordoned off the street as emergency crews attend to the scene.