Fire erupts at Israeli prison holding ex-president

AP News
Posted: Apr 28, 2013 9:19 AM

JERUSALEM (AP) — A fire erupted Sunday at the prison where former Israeli President Moshe Katsav is serving time, but he was not among the 11 people who suffered light injuries, authorities said.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said seven jailers, a prisoner and three firefighters suffered smoke inhalation, but the ex-president was not hurt.

Itsik Gorlov, a spokesman for the prisons service, said the blaze broke out at a factory at Maasiyahu prison in central Israel. It was not immediately clear what caused the fire.

Katsav was Israel's president from 2000 to 2007. He has been serving a seven-year sentence since 2011 after being convicted of rape and other charges, though he has repeatedly professed his innocence.

Israel on Sunday was battling a series of brushfires caused by the combination of hot, dry weather and the Lag Baomer holiday, in which revelers traditionally celebrate with bonfires.