BEIRUT: Civil Defense teams responded to a large fire that erupted at a carton factory warehouse in the Metn area of Bikfaya.
Firefighters and Army helicopters were fighting the blaze that burned through the roof of the warehouse and started around 2:30 p.m.
Flames could be seen shooting through a hole in the top of the warehouse and smoke billowed throughout the area.
Firefighters were trying Monday evening to contain the blaze and prevent it from reaching trees nearby and adjacent residential areas.
Seven people were treated for suffocation: four on the ground and three who were transferred to nearby hospitals.
One of the factory owners, Fadi Jameel, said the fire had almost been contained, adding that his business would soon reopen.
“I want to reassure the workers that I will remain by their side and the factory will be open again for them to get back to work,” Jameel told the National News Agency.
He added that his factory had been bombed twice in the past and still managed to reopen.
Caretaker Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud said Civil Defense teams should be better equipped to handle such large factory fires.
“Civil Defense members are heroes and are doing the best they can, but the equipment we need to put out a fire of such magnitude is unavailable,” Abboud said near the site of the factory.
“It is time we learn and better equip Civil Defense teams with necessary equipment and train its members,” he said.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 20, 2013, on page 2.