City Hall Ordered Fire Dept to Ignore Blaze in Meah Shearim


Jerusalem Councilman Yosef Deutsch is addressing reports that repeated calls from residents of Adonaiyhu HaCohen Street, reporting garbage receptacles on fire were ignored for at least 20 minutes, adding the fire station is no more than 3 minutes from the location of the fire.

Deutsch has taken the matter to the city manager, pointing out a disaster could have resulted from the inaction of firefighters. Deutsch quotes residents who explained they phoned the fire department, explaining the blaze was spreading, telling how they were told the matter was being addressed. Adults took matters into their own hands, seeking ways to extinguish the blaze, fearful it would spread to nearby buildings, describing flames reaching 3-4 meters (9-12 feet) in the air.

HaMevaser reports that after speaking with local fire officials, the newspaper was told that city manager, Yair Maiyan instructed them not to respond to fires involving garbage receptacles. It is important to point out that in Yerushalayim, the fire department functions as a city service, under the command of City Hall.

Fire official Assaf Abers is quoted by HaMevaser explaining they were no injuries or other property damage in the garbage bin fires, but this did little to calm angry residents.

Deutsch expressed shock over learning that Maiyan gave such an order, stating despite the property loss resulting in the blazes started by protestors, the city cannot turn a blind eye to its responsibilities to area residents, who suffered as a result of the lack of response by firefighters. He feels City Hall officials and the fire department share in the responsibility with those irresponsible individuals who started the fires. He suggests if they wish to combat the trend they do so within the confines of the law, and not be punishing innocent area residents.

Deutsch was also instrumental in having city sanitation workers clean the frum areas blemished in the recent riots ahead of Shavuos.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)


  1. This is going to be a sensitive issue. If residents of the area start the fires and then it gets out of control it is likely that the fire department will not comes to their assistance. A sorrowful and realistic situation.

  2. The technical term for this type of situation is “chickens coming home to roost”. I feel bad for innocent residents, but fully understand the fire department’s (lack of) response.

    an Israeli Yid

  3. They certainly would have responded if residents of secular neighborhoods or Arab neighborhood had done this in their own respective neighborhoods.

    Further what proof is there that ‘residents’ did this?

    Still further, even if it were proven (And I doubt it could be) who exactly would those ‘residents’ be?

    Someone who lives there and works for the Cheredi hating lefists?

  4. …I lived in a charedi neighborhood and hated it when they set garbage cans on fire because the stench would come directly into my room – these protests do nothing but damage and annoy innocent people. If these cowardly vandals had any, um… gumption they would go destroy the secular neighborhoods where their supposed ‘enemies’ live instead of destroying their own neighborhoods. What’s the point?

  5. I think it is is a good thing because people will eventually learn that it is dangerous to play with fire.

    i always wonder what would happen if the police didn’t come and no one paid attention. would things get worse or would they eventually stop doing it?!

    Most of the time most of the protesters live in those areas. I think even though it makes more ‘sense’ to do it in chiloni neighborhoods from a damage point of view, that would create even bigger of a chillul Hashem and more ppl being anti torah so i am not sure it is a good idea either. at least if they damage their homes it is their problem.

    I think everyone whose not involved dislikes the protests and the fires and everything. It is time for us to protest the protests. (JK!!) .

    – How often do you see secular people making fires in the street? the govt cant keep spending money to help ppl who are causing damage intentionally.

  6. To#3,
    This has nothing to do with “charedi” hatred, it just the lack of parenting and the lack of “Rabbinical” supervision from the “eidah”. See, these kids learn by examples, they see grown-ups doing it, so they do it too!, where were the parents when the kids were setting up the fires? Why did the “leaders” of the “eidah” do something about it???? The police should arrest all the leaders of the “eidah” for their lack of responsability and for incitement to destroy public property.

  7. #6 I might agree with you if it were sbhown to be an absolute undeniable fact, that those who did it, really were cheredi.

    I do not see the proof of this.

  8. I was there…
    There were over “10” Dumpsters on fire within a few blocks set ablaze by residents as well as bored Bochurim, besides for the other areas that had many more burning dumpsters as well… so don’t make it sound as if the fire department should have been there any earlier… they were there pretty soon after the calls considering all the other fires and groups of people they had to get around…
    If I would be in charge I would have let it spread so that maybe they’ll learn they’re lesson – not make fires that would harm they’re own community…

  9. How many people live in the neighborhood? How many people were involved in setting the fires? Without being there, I can tell you that the answer to the first question is Thousands and to the second questions is less than 100. So why the collective punishment?

  10. Excuse me but whenever I see a video the fires are lit by teenager; and not all are so chardei. My question where should they be at this time. Remove the kids are bored and some get into trouble. I haven’t seen adults on the video lighting the fires so all of us lets be honest