Page 787 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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 was said that ’the fire apparently broke out due to improp- er electrical installations, chimneys not built according to regulations and attachments to a hard-fuel stove’. (Later, the electrical installations were eliminated as a possible cause for the fire, and expert analyses and other evidence also eliminated the chimneys.)
That morning the monastery slept a deep sleep, only the sisters on duty on the estate were awake to milk the cows and complete other tasks before the beginning of dai- ly services. The first to notice the fire was brother Djordje from Devič Monastery. He informed abbess Paraskeva from Devič, who also happened to be there that night.
in the meanwhile a horrible drama was being played out in the residence between the awakened and frightened nuns and the wall of fire. Sister Haritina first noticed the fire and in panicked fear awoke the nuns and syngelos Da- maskin Davidović, a professor at the Seminary in Prizren, who happened to be sleeping there that night. While they saved items from the patriarch’s room and salon, Sister Ha- ritina called the firefighting service from Peć. and the fire- fighters arrived but there was no water in the tank of the first fire engine, while the second fire engine broke down on the way to the monastery. The fire was now raging and there was a danger that the electrical wiring would make matters worse so they used the fuse box to turn off the pow- er. in the dark and panic, no one knew what to do anymore and on top that the narrow hallways packed with things created even greater chaos. Seeing that the first fire engine had no water, Sister Haritina called the police in Peć. When she stepped out of the residence into the yard, she saw that the fire was also burning in the middle of the building. “The fire also appeared above the knitting workshop, some 40 m from the first observed flames, and there was no fire be- tween the two points. The central fire was much stronger anditspreadthroughthecenterofthebuilding.”
at 4:30 a.m. the firefighters began to take more effec- tive action. “The third fire engine,” said Sister Haritina, “ar- rived only when the fire in the center of the residence had grown very strong, at about 5:00 a.m.—very late. The fire engine that throws water in a broad stream arrived at about 7:30 a.m. By then the new residence was also on fire.”
No one was thinking about saving things anymore, be- cause nothing could be saved; they worked on saving the treasury and elderly and immobile persons.
The room of the elderly Dionisije was cloaked in smoke and the flames lapped at the dry attic beams while the old man powerlessly awaited death. His 95 years made it too difficult for him to flee from it. at that moment sisters iri- na and Stefanija appeared in his room and lifted him from the bed; they were still at the door when the ceiling col- lapsed onto the abbot’s bed. Wrapped in blankets, Father Dionisije greeted the dawn under a clear sky on the mon- astery estate. On the same day he was lodged in Budisavci Monastery.
Newspaper cuttings from the Serbian press, 1980s
as precious but not priceless items vanished in the flames, the battle to save the monastery treasury and its pricelessartifactsragedon.Theheroesofthisbattle,which they won, were abbess Fevronija, syngelos Damaskin Da- vidović, presbyter Stanko Trajković, the parish priest of Peć, presbyter Radovan Mijajlović, the parish priest of Goražde- vac, Bajruš Laići and his brother Salija Laići, [albanian] workers in the new monastery residence, and andreja Ko- stić, construction worker, and his team of workers.
The door of the treasury was in flames and they could not enter through the window because of the thick bars. The power was out. it was night. No tools were to be had. Dif- ficult moments for the powerless and panic-stricken saviors. Suddenly someone brought a pick ax and Fr. Damaskin used all his strength to remove the stone parts of the win- dow. The bars gave way, the brave group jumped into the flames—and began pulling out old manuscripts and icons.
Under the window the nuns, hospital staff in their white coats and the citizens of Peć removed books and items as they were thrown out, while a fire raged inside. ashes and hot water was falling from the attic on the necks of the sav- iors as they worked. Nevertheless, in half an hour every- thing was saved; at any rate, it was impossible to remain

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