A devastating fire that erupted and rapidly consumed a police headquarters in the Egyptian city of Ismailia on Monday has left at least 38 individuals injured, according to reports from security sources.
As of now, there have been no reported fatalities in the incident. However, given the presence of soldiers at the building, and with hospitals placed on alert due to the billowing smoke from the charred multi-story structure of the Ismailia Security Directorate, authorities are closely monitoring the situation.
The cause of the blaze, which ignited at the Security Directorate headquarters before dawn, remains unknown, as reported by AFP. The swift response of multiple fire trucks helped contain the flames.
Among the injured, 26 were transported to a local hospital, with 24 suffering from “asphyxiation” and two sustaining burns, as confirmed by the health ministry. Additionally, 12 more individuals received on-site medical treatment.
Responding to the emergency, the health ministry dispatched 50 ambulances to the scene, complemented by military emergency services, including two aircraft, as reported by local media.
Egypt’s Minister of Interior, Major General Mahmoud Tawfiq, has been closely monitoring the firefighting efforts and the condition of the individuals and officers present at the facility during the fire.
An investigation has been initiated to determine the cause of the fire and the rapidity of its spread, as reported by Al Arabiya.
Videos and images circulating on social media depict the fire engulfing multiple floors of the building, underscoring the severity of the incident.
Deadly fires pose a recurring hazard in Egypt, where fire safety regulations are often poorly enforced, and emergency response services can be slow to arrive.
In August 2022, a fire resulting from a short circuit claimed the lives of 41 worshippers in a Cairo church, prompting calls for improvements in the country’s infrastructure and the fire brigade’s response time.
In March 2021, a fire at a textile factory in the capital claimed the lives of at least 20 people. Additionally, in 2020, two separate hospital fires resulted in the deaths of 14 individuals, further emphasizing the need for enhanced fire safety measures in the country.