THE number of fires in Bahrain has risen by 20 per cent in the first five months of this year, according to a top Civil Defence official.

The number has jumped from 809 in the same period last year to 967 from January to May, General Directorate of Civil Defence Director General Air Commodore Ali Al Kubaisi said yesterday.

The spate of fires that hit the kingdom over the past five months, including a major blaze at the Old Manama Suq that killed three people, has raised concern over the safety of buildings in the kingdom, according to a report in our sister paper Akhbar Al Khaleej.

Air Commodore Al Kubaisi attributed the fires mainly to short circuits, high temperatures, negligence and gas and fuel leaks.

“The Civil Defence fleet has been equipped with modern vehicles and cranes, like the hydraulic crane, which is one of the longest rescue cranes in the Arab world, to respond to any fire or accident in high buildings,” he said.

“Twenty-three new hi-tech vehicles have also been added, including water trailers, which are used for rapid intervention in the event of a major fire to provide the necessary support for the Civil Defence personnel,” he noted.

Social Development Ministry UnderSecretary Sahar Al Mennai separately underlined the ministry’s keenness to provide various development services and social protection for all social entities.

She also voiced interest in providing special care and support for humanitarian cases, including fires, according to set regulations and frameworks.

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