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EghtesadOnline: Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, in a message on Sunday hailed 'great devotion' of the 'faithful' and 'pious' firefighters who lost their lives in the fire and subsequent collapse of a trade center in Tehran.

The leader also appreciated all the people and institutes who did the 'great job' of relief and rescue in the past ten days, according to IRNA. 

'The firefighters once again refreshed the memories of sacrifice in the Sacred Defense era (the 8-year war with former dictator of Iraq Saddam Hussein in 1980-1988) and proved that a faithful Iranian shows firm resolve and exemplary bravery and sacrifice when it comes to face risk to fulfill the duty,' the message read. 

'Now after days and nights of concern and search operation, it is time to commemorate the courageous and faithful firefighters’ devotion and introduce the men who should deservedly be named heroes with no pretentions and keep their memories alive in mind.' 

'These devoted men went into flames and debris with wonderful courage and put their lives at risk to save lives and properties of their fellow-countrymen.' 

'Bereaved families and all the Iranian nation should be proud of this resolve and courage rooted in faith,' the message added. 

'The incident is tragic on the one hand and honorable on the other, said the message, adding the firefighters are martyrs of laborious jobs and hazardous duty and they will never be forgotten.' 

The Leader wished divine mercy for the departed souls and prayed for the bereaved families. 

Plasco Trade Center, the 17-storey building, collapsed on January 19, while a number of firefighters were inside the building to rescue those trapped in the huge fire. 

Plasco, built in 1962, was the first high-rise building in the Iranian capital. 

Bodies of 15 firefighters were recovered during debris removal operation and one firefighter succumbed to injuries in the hospital.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Iran Firefighters Plasco building Plasco fire