TYRE, Lebanon: A 14-year-old boy was killed in a fire Wednesday night at his home in Tyre, while his family members were transported to hospital to be treated for burns and asphyxiation.
Witnesses told The Daily Star that the deceased, Mohammad Zaatar, had initially escaped the fire and assisted in getting his family members to safety, but later re-entered the building in an attempt to prevent his home from being destroyed.
The teen was described as “hardworking, smart, polite and excellent in academics and sports.”
The fire, which broke out in the Zaatar’s residence near Jumblatt Roundabout in south Lebanon’s Tyre, is believed to have been caused by an electrical problem, sources said.
Civil Defense units extinguished the fire and Red Cross ambulances transported Mohammad’s parents to Tyre’s Lebanese Italian Hospital.
A medical source said that Mohammad’s father, Mahmoud Zaatar, sustained burns and had suffered from suffocation but was now in stable condition.
Mahmoud, who remains in hospital, also suffers from blood cancer and amnesia. He was reportedly unaware, as of 10 a.m. Thursday, that his son had perished in the blaze.
"Why isn’t Mohammad coming to visit me?” he asked those around him, confused as to how he had come to be hospitalized.
Mahmoud’s wife also suffered minor asphyxiation, the source said, and still had not been notified of her son’s death.
Although the parents have yet to be told of their child's death, due to their current conditions, their extended relatives have notified Mohammad's school.