CAIRO: A number of separate fires blazed through governorates in Egypt Monday and lasted until the early hours of the morning as emergency services struggled to put them out.
The biggest was in Ezbet Bilal in Al-Sharabeya area, which reached three buildings and a number of makeshift houses over 800 meters. The fire lasted eight hours and needed 80 fire trucks and three helicopters to extinguish. Fifteen people were injured, one with a broken leg and the rest from suffocation.
Ashraf Mahmoud Ahmed, 30, has been arrested for causing the fire following an altercation with a man living in the area, after which he set his wooden shed on fire using petrol. Ahmed first confessed to igniting the fire and then denied it to the Public Prosecutor.
One person was killed and eight injured in a fire that broke out in the Gaziret El-Ward hotel in Mansoura on Monday. Eighty of the hotel guests were evacuated through the windows. The deceased, 46-year-old Aboul Hamd Mohamed, died from his wounds.
At 3 am another fire erupted under the Tunsi Bridge in the Khalifa area in Cairo, where 20 kiosks that sell ceramics caught in the flames. The fire lasted five hours and initial damages are estimated at LE 3 million. Another smaller fire blazed nearby in Abdel-Aziz Street in downtown Cairo.
In Helwan, a fire erupted in a Tawheed and Nour store which completely destroyed the five-storey building. Raging for seven hours, it is believed to have been caused by an electrical short circuit which sparked the initial flame in the store. The Helwan fire caused more than LE 15 million in damages.
Two smaller fires were contained in the governorate of Al Sharqiya at a house near Zaqaziq station which was also caused by an electrical short circuit. Another fire erupted at the train station nearby.
Finally, the Tama Elementary school in Sohag also caught fire Monday, also due to an electrical short circuit. No injuries were reported. -Daily News Egypt