Video footage shows minutes Mati fire broke out

Video footage shows minutes Mati fire broke out

As an investigation into last month’s deadly wildfires on the outskirts of Attica deepens – with evidence pointing to shortcomings by rescue services and authorities but also the negligence of residents – Kathimerini has obtained video footage showing the moment the blaze broke out on the afternoon of July 23. 

The video, taken from a security camera at a home in the Daou area of Mount Pendeli, shows a fire breaking out in a clearing between houses at 4.41 p.m. and quickly spreading over the following two to three minutes, fueled by strong winds.

According to the footage, the first fire engines arrived at the scene more than half an hour after the blaze broke out. 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. 

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.

Residents of Rafina and Marathonas who saw their homes destroyed in last month’s fires staged a protest outside Parliament on Monday night, calling on the government to provide “immediate and substantial” relief.

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