A time bomb behind Al-Ahram Studio.. How did civil protection prevent the disaster? (Secrets and behind the scenes)

12:04 p.m

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Books – Muhammad Shaaban:

At midnight in Cairo, the atmosphere is Ramadan par excellence, the spirituality of the Holy Month prevails in the streets of “Mother of the World”, children who do not stop playing, cafes crowded with patrons, and homes filled with the remembrance of the Most Gracious, but these are the moments before the disaster.

About two hours before the dawn call to prayer on the sixth day of Ramadan, attention turned to Al-Ahram Studio, located on Khatam Al-Morsaleen Street in the Al-Omraniya suburb, west of Giza. Fires rose as if they would embrace the sky, a cloud of smoke obscuring the dawn breeze.

Inside his office in the Fifth Settlement, Major General Jaber Bahaa, Assistant Minister of Interior and Director of the General Administration of Civil Protection, prepared to leave before his radio signal changed a scenario he had prepared in advance: “The room received a report of a large fire in Al-Ahram Studio.”

Adventure in Kafr Delhab

The Assistant Minister recalled his memories of the most difficult reports he faced when he headed the Civil Protection Department in Giza. He took the initiative and headed to the field – Al-Ahram Studio – as he is fully aware of the paths of “Kafr Delhab” – Giza Governorate.

The first firefighting call included 10 cars at once, all the way from the east of the capital to the west of Giza. Bahaa follows up on the developments of the report with his officers, directing them to make a geographical inventory of the dimensions of the scene of events.

Immediately upon his arrival at the vicinity of Al-Ahram Studio, the Assistant Minister proceeded to examine the situation more accurately, and developed a precise response plan focused on separating the source of the fire from neighboring properties and reducing the amount of losses.

30 crucial minutes

It took half an hour for the civil protection forces to control the situation inside Al-Ahram Studio, but the greatest difficulty was 6 adjacent properties that the fire spread to – completely or partially – here the commander of the fire crews was certain that the usual methods would not work and he had to find a magic solution that would give him the upper hand in his battle in front of the inferno of fire. .

A narrow street to the left of the studio. He ordered a loader in the Omraniyah neighborhood to break a dividing wall to contain the fire from behind. The director’s action had a magical effect, in fact, preventing a catastrophe with devastating consequences. Civil protection men prevented the fire from spreading to a tanner warehouse in the middle of the residents’ homes.

Two hours later, the firefighting heroes tightened their grip on the scene. 40 fire engines and strategic tanks of different capacities confronted the fire from its four corners, with rescue teams storming the houses from the inside, 3 hydraulic ladders from the top, and a network of hoses on the ground.

The civil protection plan was 100% successful. No loss of life – deaths – were recorded even in Al-Ahram Studio. The fire reached a wood store and foam decorations, confining it to an area that was not large compared to the vast area of ​​Al-Ahram Studio – 27 thousand square metres.

6 properties and 30 apartments were affected by fire

3 plates – one of which contained decorations for the series “Al-Muallem” starring the artist Mustafa Shaaban – The fire reached the filming site of one neighborhood, which turned into a pile of ash. The fire did not limit itself to devouring the decorations, it spread to 6 residential properties adjacent to the studio, causing damage to more than 30 residential units, engulfing their entire contents or Partially.

Residents of the real estate properties rushed to save themselves and their families as flames flew as a result of the active winds, and their eyes were clear, each of them seeing a “bad man” captured by the flames.

“Smoke on the floor and walls” .. 20 photos monitoring the process of cooling the “Al-Ahram Studio” fire

80 years of cinema above the rubble

A difficult night, in every sense of the word, that everyone lived through. The people were the biggest losers. They became homeless, sleeping on the ground on the sixth day of the holy month of Ramadan. The studio, whose founding dates back to 1944, withstood 80 years until it collapsed and raised the flag of surrender in the face of fires it had never witnessed before.

12 people were injured, most of them suffocated by smoke, including 3 firefighters. Two of them suffered a broken foot and a dislocated shoulder, especially when a firefighting ladder fell during the process of controlling the fire.

7 injured people were transferred to Al-Haram Hospital and two to Umm Al-Masryeen, while 3 cases of suffocation underwent treatment at the fire site before being transferred.

A mass of inferno…a massive fire inside Al-Ahram Studio (photos)

Conflicting accounts and the cause is unknown

The sunrise of a new day brought the most difficult scene. The studio became a pile of black ash dominating a sad painting in a place that was full of art and beauty, and meters away were the facades of houses destroyed by fire and residential apartments that were completely charred.

Everyone is asking about the beginning and cause of the fire, the flames of which lit up the urban sky. The people’s narration turned into a staged scene, but the director of the series denied the matter, which was confirmed by two sources, one of whom was security and the other was informed, and they confirmed that there was no filming during the outbreak of the fire.

The second story suggests that the frequent perpetrator in the majority of fires is an electrical short circuit, but a security source who participated in the firefighting operations refused to confirm the validity of this hypothesis. “The fire that we saw does not say that the cause was a short circuit.”

Two high-ranking sources – who refused to mention their names – stressed that the cause – as of writing these lines – is unknown, and one of them revealed a surprise: “The detectives are working on a completely different scenario,” in reference to the hypothesis of “the fire was caused by an active shooter.”

A third source from a responsible authority simply said, “The prosecution is busy and has not yet determined the cause of the fire.. The issue is not simple.”

The reason is unknown until now, but what is certain is that at least 30 families lost their homes in exchange for 15 thousand pounds of rental subsidy that they will receive according to a decision from Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, who inspected the site of the horrific accident, directing that the property be returned to its original state at the state’s cost.

80 years of cinema above the rubble.. What happened in the hell of Al-Ahram Studio? (Details and pictures)

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