Seven siblings from a Syrian Orthodox Jewish family were killed early Saturday when a fire tore through their two-story Brooklyn home after they had gone to bed, a tragedy that authorities believe was caused by a malfunctioning hot plate left on during the Sabbath. The blaze took the lives of three girls and four boys - ages 5 to 16 - and left their mother and another child in critical condition. Fire officials said the flames would have prevented the mother, who escaped out a window, from trying to rescue her children.
The children killed in the fire have been identified as 16-year-old Eliane Sassoon, 11-year-old Rivkah Sassoon, 12-year-old David Sassoon, 10-year-old Yeshua Sassoon, 8-year-old male Moshe Sassoon, 6-year-old Sara Sassoon and 5-year-old Yaakob Sassoon.
“This is an unbelievable tragedy,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said after touring the charred residence. “Every New Yorker is feeling this pain right now.”
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro called it the city’s worst fatal fire in recent memory.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro holds a news conference