While investigation into the wildfires in East Attica on 23. July deepens, there is still no official position on whether the fire was started by negligent residents of Daou on Penteli mountain. There have been some media reports that a 65-year-old man had started the fire when he tried to burn some wood and that locals have pointed out at him as the “arsonist by negligence.” However, nobody has been arrested so far.
A video footage recorded by CCTV camera, shows how the fire is breaking out in a clearing between houses at 4:41 p.m. on July 23rd 2018.
The blaze quickly spreads within two to three minutes due to the strong wind.
The first call to Fire Service is conducted eight minutes later, at 4:49 p.m.
According to the footage, the first truck with volunteers firefighter arrives at the scene more than half an hour after the blaze broke out, at 5:15 p.m.
The fire service was also trying to respond to a blaze in nearby Neos Voutzas and to another in Kineta, western Attica, that had broken out earlier in the day.
By the time the fire service arrives at the mountain area, the fire is already out of control. It is heading at high speed to Neos Voutzas and from there it reaches Mati, turning the summer resort into a mass grave of 96 people.
Spreading of the wildfire from Penteli Mt to N Voutzas and Mati.
The pictures are part of the technical report prepared by Andrianos Gourmpatsis, retired deputy Fire Service chief, who was hired by the victims’ families as councelor.
Evidence from the place were the fire started.
Meanwhile, as a judicial probe into the fires gathers pace, members of the police’s anti-arson unit have been questioning residents of Daou whose houses faced the clearing where the fire broke out.
According to sources, several depositions point the finger at a 65-year-old neighbor who allegedly burned wood outside his home on July 23 and is a prime suspect in the probe, kathimerini notes.
Recently I had the chance to speak with an expert on the issue as the tragedy cannot be easily forgotten. He said that even if authorities had an emergency plan and had it implemented immediately, still some 50 people would have lost their lives due to the fire speed and the bad town planning.
However, 46 lives could have been saved….