BEIRUT: Roughly 25 firefighters and Civil Defense volunteers battled a large blaze in a residential area in the southern city of Sidon Friday, quelling the flames in two hours.
Two local residents were treated for smoke inhalation – one on site, and another in a nearby hospital.
The fire ignited in brush on a piece of land where 13 broken-down cars had been left, near the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian camp. A local mechanic from the Sabbagh family is reported to have had a workshop on the land, where he extracted car parts and mended vehicles.
Preliminary information suggests the fire was started Friday morning after a gas canister exploded on the property.
The flames spread to neighboring houses, leading members of the Lebanese Army to evacuate residents.
A local Islamic charity arrived and dispensed oxygen canisters in a bid to help those suffering from smoke inhalation.
“It was a huge fire” Basima Nassa, an 8-year-old resident, told The Daily Star. “I got scared and hid in the closet.”
She added: “I don’t understand how there can be a used-car workshop in a residential area.”
Security forces have launched an investigation into the incident.