I woke up early today to catch up on some work. Soon after, I received a tweet about a huge fire in a carpet factory in the coastal town of Safra, North of Beirut. I didn’t give it much importance. Then I got another picture tweet of the fire. It caught my attention.
I opened MTV Lebanon online and watched a live feed of the tragedy.
While watching, I was wondering why the firetrucks are not fully engaged in fighting the fire. I didn’t see firefighters or their equipments trying to fight the fire from inside the building. It turned out that the fire fighters are not equipped to fight such fire. Probably they also lack training to fight a fire of this magnitude.
It seems that even the helicopter team that was dumping water on the fire (supposedly) also lack training. Couple of times I saw a helicopter passing over the fire and dumping water on it. On both occasions, the pilot or the person who released the water didn’t hit the target.
I tweeted asking when will Lebanon adapts fire codes for buildings. I got a reply from an friend who is an engineer. He said we have fire codes and standards for industrial buildings but “they can be bypassed by bribes”. Even if they were implemented there is no way to follow up with inspection and maintenance, he added.
I wondered at that moment how the owner of this factory feels at this moment. He might have saved few thousands of dollars by bribing an inspector but that costed him his factory. When will they understand that investing few extra dollars will save lives and businesses in case of an accident.
Come to think about it, if they installed fire sprinkler system, from where will they get the water? We all know the sad story of the water system in Lebanon. The owner probably needed a special water tank for the sprinkler system.
That made me think of the firetrucks. From where they fill up their water? In Lebanon, we do not have fire hydrant system that is linked to the city or town water reservoir. So an empty fire truck had to leave the fire scene to go fill up water.
But wait a minute what city or town reservoir? We don’t have those in Lebanon. Cities, towns or villages don’t have their own water plants.
By that time, a huge part of a carpet factory and I started to have a headache at 5 AM trying to figure out how to implement a system to fight these fires.
Time to switch off the online Live TV feed and go read other news. Headlines of the day:
– Unknown assailants kidnapped Basma al-Sabaa from her car in Sidon.
– Mohammed Hassan al-Turkmani was kidnapped from his house in al-Qaa.
– A Building in Ain al-Remmeneh in danger of collapsing.
The headache evolved to a migraine. Billions of dollars in debts, no water, no electricity, no safety, …. and the politicians are busy cursing each others over a new electoral law. Each fearing from implementing a law that will work against his future as a deputy. What did these deputies (all of them) do in the past 4 years for YOU, my dear Lebanese? What did they do for YOUR well being, your health, your safety, your job, your economy, your necessities, …..
Next time think, if you feel compelled to cast your vote in the next election, think about that and try for once elect a person that works for you and not his pocket. A person who will serve YOU first and not his close family and friends. After all they are PUBLIC SERVANT. They are elected by YOU to serve YOU.