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Fires in Poland. Information in the Sejm by the head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration, Tomasz Siemoniak

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For now, there are no indications that the recent fires could be linked to the actions of foreign services, said the head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration, Tomasz Siemoniak, in the Sejm. He emphasized, however, that the intensification of actions directed against Poland and other countries is evident. The Sejm accepted the minister's information.

On Wednesday afternoon, the head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration presented information to the Sejm about a series of fires that occurred in recent days, including: in Warsaw, Bytom and Siemianowice Śląskie. – We ask ourselves whether (…) the situation Poland is in is a helping country Ukraine threatened by various events, may be related to what has happened in recent days – said the minister. He added that he presented it to the Prime Minister on Tuesday Donald Tusk confidential information on this matter in order “to draw attention to this aspect.”

READ: Fire in a shopping center in Białołęka. This is what he looked like at the climax

Siemoniak recalled that at the end of January, the Internal Security Agency detained a man acting on behalf of the Russian intelligence services, who was allegedly preparing to set fire to one of the commercial facilities in Wrocław. – We have no doubt that this was an action ordered by the Russian services, therefore, such an eventuality is also assumed by the special services, because the alliance has given various warnings in recent weeks about the possibility of this type of situation in various situations. NATO countries and the EU – said the minister. He added that this aspect is being thoroughly investigated by the secret services.

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Tomasz Siemoniak in the plenary chamber of the SejmPAP/Leszek Szymański

“Absolute priority” for the Internal Security Agency and other services

The head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration added that possible events that “may seem to have nothing to do with acting on behalf of foreign services may be such actions.” He assured that the fight against threats is an “absolute priority” for the Internal Security Agency and other services. – he noted – the police are also very deeply involved in these issues.

– The intensification of actions directed against Poland and other countries is obvious to us. Since the beginning of the year, we have been dealing with very intensive activities commissioned by the Russian and Belarusian services, which may lead to sabotage in NATO and EU countries, he said. At the same time, he emphasized that “for now, we have no evidence to link the events of recent days (…) to the actions of foreign services.”

READ: Fire in the depot in Bytom. 10 buses burned and eight were damaged

The first meeting at the ministry

The head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration emphasized that after taking up his new position in the government, the first meeting at the ministry was devoted to the recent fires in the country. He thanked the firefighters for their professionalism, effort and service in the fight against the element. He also expressed his condolences and support to all those injured.

He added that an investigation into these incidents is ongoing. – The best specialists from the State Fire Service and the police work in these matters. It is too early to talk about the causes, because investigations are ongoing and activities are being carried out by firefighters and policemen to determine the causes of these events. The work of experts is also necessary, he said.

A series of large fires in Poland. Do they have anything in common? Duda: it may be an attempt to destabilizeJan Błaszkowski/Fakty TVN

Siemoniak noted that “we are dealing with the impression of at least a series of these events”, therefore it is necessary to clarify whether these cases are connected in any way.

He added that when it comes to the illegal hazardous waste dump in Siemianowice Śląskie, an investigation has been ongoing for many months. Several people were arrested. – Referring more broadly to fire incidents (…) on May 10-13 this year, I would like to inform you that during this period a total of 2,080 fires were recorded in Poland, including five classified as large and four as very large – Siemoniak said.

He emphasized that the number of fires classified as large and very large from January 1 to May 13 this year is not greater than the number of fires in the same period in previous years.

READ: One of the largest illegal waste dumps in Poland is on fire

Firefighters' actions

Siemoniak also commented on the actions of firefighters. He pointed out that the first fire brigade units in Siemianowice Śląskie arrived on site 7 minutes after the notification, and the fire covered a total of 400 square meters. The head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration said that 568 State Fire Service firefighters, 219 vehicles and a specialized chemical rescue group took part in fire-fighting activities. There were also 25 Volunteer Fire Department members and 9 Volunteer Fire Department vehicles present.

Speaking about the fire in the hall at ul. Marywilska in Warsaw reported that the first rescue forces arrived at the scene 11 minutes after the notification, and that 294 firefighters, 89 vehicles and a specialist rescue group were involved in the operation.

– The prosecutor's office is investigating. It is to explain all aspects of what happened in this hall. However, in the opinion of the State Fire Service and the ministry, an amendment to the technical and construction regulations is necessary, Siemoniak said.

Speeches by clubs and parliamentary circles

After the minister's speech, a vote on behalf of PIS taken by Małgorzata Gosiewska. She accused the state authorities of not reacting decisively to these events. She emphasized that a sudden series of fires in various places “may and even should” raise suspicions about the possible operation of foreign services.

– We have not noticed a decisive reaction from the government, the minister, the voivode, and we have not seen any action by the president of Warsaw. Where is the crisis staff? – Gosiewska asked. She drew attention to the reaction of the mayor of Warsaw Rafał Trzaskowskiwhich – as she said, referring to the information about the opening of a point for registering injured merchants as unemployed – “after 30 hours offered unemployment to merchants who lost their livelihoods.”

The PiS MP also accused the government of not involving counterintelligence and other services in the case.

KO MPs Mateusz Bochenek and Grzegorz Napieralski reacted to Gosiewska's words. Bochenek assessed that Gosiewska's words had “no connection” with the minister's speech. Referring to the fire in Siemianowice Śląskie, he said that during the PiS government, no legislation was prepared, no funds were secured and no inventory of hazardous waste landfills requiring removal was made.

Napieralski, however, said that Gosiewska's words were “disgusting lies.” In his opinion, “the state acted perfectly.” In support of this thesis, he pointed out, among others, that the Masovian Voivode and the President ZUS and representatives of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy met the ambassador after the fire at the Marywilska hall Vietnam in Poland to work together on solutions that would support injured merchants, most of them of Vietnamese origin.

After listening to the minister's speech, MP Piotr Górnikiewicz (Poland 2050-TD) emphasized that despite the lack of evidence indicating the action of external factors, the events of recent days raise concerns about the internal security of the state.

Zbigniew Sosnowski (PSL-TD) pointed out that the fires that occurred in Siemianowice Śląskie, Warsaw, Bytom and Grodzisk Mazowiecki “force deep reflection.” – One of the causes we must take into account is intentional arson ordered by external services, he said.

Tadeusz Tomaszewski (New Left) emphasized that after each such event there should be a detailed analysis carried out by professionals. – It's time to bring the law on population protection and civil defense to the Sejm, because there we should have systemic cooperation of all rescue services, but also the involvement of civil society and local governments – said Tomaszewski.

Grzegorz Płaczek (Confederation) noted that it is necessary, among others, repairing appropriate waste management infrastructure and effective enforcement of waste management regulations. – Illegal waste dumps pose a threat to public health. Illegal landfills are also dangerous in the economic sphere, he emphasized.

Deputy Minister of Interior and Administration Wiesław Leśniakiewicz, answering the MPs' questions, emphasized that the rescue system worked, the fire brigade units acted effectively to provide help and rescue, and the Government Security Center provided appropriate messages to citizens who might have found themselves in the danger area.

He emphasized that the process of assessing the situation is currently ongoing. He also pointed out that the National Firefighting Rescue System needs support and it is being prepared by Ministry of the Interior and Administration and the Ministry of Climate. He added that this includes, among others: for systemic support for volunteer fire brigades and the entire system in general.

The PiS parliamentary club requested the rejection of the information from the head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration. The Sejm did not agree to this proposal. 191 MPs voted in favor, 233 were against and one abstained.

Main photo source: PAP/Leszek Szymański

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