Israel — An Israeli firefighter burned trying to rescue Prison Service cadets trapped by a wildfire died Saturday, the 44th victim of the Carmel fire.
Danny Hayat, 35, had been hospitalized for two weeks. He was burned over 80 percent of his body and also suffering from smoke inhalation, Ynetnews.com reported.
The fire began on Mount Carmel near Haifa Dec. 2 and spread rapidly, fueled by dry vegetation after an unusually hot summer. Several teenagers from a nearby Druze village have been accused of starting the fire through negligence.
Most of the deaths occurred when a bus carrying the cadets to help with the evacuation of a prison was trapped by a downed tree on the road and a fast-moving wall of fire. The victims included 37 cadets and their commanding officers, the bus driver, and now three firefighters.
Hayat was cited for bravery for pulling a cadet out of the bus, although the man later died.
He is survived by two children and his wife Hofit, who is pregnant with their third child.