NEW YORK – Three young children and their mother were killed early Monday in a fire that roared through their home on the sixth night of Hanukkah, and firefighters were investigating whether the fire was touched by the family of the menorah.
Neighbors said the family kept the menorah in a living room window in the eight-day holiday, also known as the Jewish festival of Lights.
The fire department said unattended candles, overloaded electrical outlets and sockets “and many of the holiday traditions we all hold dear” are often the cause of fires.
“So often, disaster strikes in this time of the year, and the holidays make it that much harder, because our communities should be celebrating, not mourning,” fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.
She has also Azan was found dead on the second floor of the single-family homes in the neighborhood of the children who were killed: 11-year-old Moshe, 7-year-old Yitzah and 3-year-old Henrietta. The children of the father and two teenagers were hospitalized in critical condition.
In all nine people were in the house of the couple, their six children and a cousin. The other two people’s life.
The fire was reported around 2:30 a.m. in Brooklyn’s Sheepshead Bay neighborhood.
An old family friend and neighbor, Morris Levy, said the family had recently moved into the house. He said Azan’s father was a rabbi.
“A very nice lady,” he told The New York Times . “Such a beautiful family.”
Nigro said that the children’s father rescued two of his older children of the fire and was severely burned trying to get back in the burning house.
“We believe that he acted very brave and tried desperately,” Nigro said, according to the New York Post . “Hopefully it is not the cost of his life, but it can be.”
Firefighters came within 2 1/2 minutes of the first 911 call, but Nigro said the flames were already “consume” all three floors of the building. He said that firefighters were met with flames at the front door, but “pushed in a very aggressive”, because they knew that people were inside.
Mayor Bill de Blasio people to be careful with decorations, electric lights, candles and heaters in the winter and the holidays.
“As a parent, it is impossible for me to imagine what this family is going through now,” said de Blasio, a Democrat.