Carmel forest fire traced back to teen's nargila coal

By Jennifer Lipman, December 6, 2010
Ahuva Tomer

Ahuva Tomer

Police investigating the forest fire in Israel’s Carmel region have traced it back to the negligence of a 14-year-old boy.

The teenager has admitted to discarding a lit coal, used in smoking a nargila water pipe, in an open area.

Investigators believe this is what initially caused the devastating blaze, although unseasonably dry weather and strong winds have been blamed for why it spread.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said: “Based on an analysis of findings on the ground, the fire was caused by negligence.”

News of the arrest came as thousands of mourners attended the funeral of Ahuva Tomer, Israel’s top policewoman, who died from fire injuries. She was one of the 42 casualties of the disaster.

President Shimon Peres said Ms Tomer “had an extraordinary personality, a rare combination of a mother and a commander.

"That fire annihilated so much, and with Ahuva it has now taken the best of the best.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that the government is allocating 2,500 shekels (£439) to each person who was evacuated because of the fire.

Last updated: 4:52pm, December 6 2010