TRAGEDY IN FLATBUSH: 7 Children Perish in Shabbos Fire

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flatbush-fire[Multiple videos and photos below.] Brooklyn, NY – The Flatbush community has been plunged into mourning with the news of an awful tragedy, as seven children passed away early Shabbos morning in a fire sparked by a hot plate.

Four boys and three girls – siblings ranging in age from 5 to 16 – were in their bedrooms when the hot plate apparently malfunctioned in the kitchen, starting a fire that swept up from the first floor shortly after midnight, New York Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

The niftarim are Elaine Sassoon, 16, Rivkah Sassoon, 11, Sarah Sassoon, 6, Dovid Sassoon, 12, Yehoshua Sassoon, 10, Moshe Sassoon, 8, and Yaakov Sassoon, 5.

The mother of the children, 45-year-old Mrs. Gayle Sassoon, and her 14-year-old daughter, Avigayil, survived. All are asked to daven for Tziporah bas Gilah and Gilah bas Tziporah, who both jumped from second-floor widows to escape and were treated for burns and smoke inhalation.

“This is an unbelievable tragedy,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said after he toured the burned-out home with fire officials Shabbos afternoon. “It’s so painful. It’s so difficult. Every New Yorker is feeling this pain right now.”

The children’s father was away for Shabbos.

The fire raced from the kitchen up a staircase and toward the bedrooms. A neighbor called 911 shortly after 12:20 a.m., and the firefighters arrived less than four minutes later, but the fire was well advanced.

Firefighters broke down the front door and knocked the flames down to the point where they could go upstairs, but it was too late.

One of the children was pronounced dead at the scene. The other six were sent to hospitals but passed way.

Over 100 firefighters fought the blaze at 3371 Bedford Avenue between Avenues L and M in Flatbush.

A neighbor, Andrew Rosenblatt, called 911.

“I can’t give them enough credit. They were going through extremely heavy smoke — at times I couldn’t see that house from my house” because of the smoke, Rosenblatt told CNN by phone. “They truly are the bravest.”

Firefighters found no evidence of smoke detectors in the first and second floors, said New York Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro. There was a working smoke detector in the basement, though it wasn’t clear whether it had activated.

“This is the largest tragedy by fire that the city has had in seven years,” Nigro said during a morning news conference.

The 100 firefighters brought the blaze under control at around 1:30 a.m.

“It’s a tragedy for this family, it’s a tragedy for this community, it’s a tragedy for our city,” Nigro said.

Mayor de Blasio talked about the family’s loss in Brooklyn this afternoon.

“You can only imagine that this beautiful, vibrant family, 24 hours ago intact, and now so many lost and two cling to life,” the mayor said.

Umachah Hashem dimah mei’al kol ponim.

VIDEO BELOW:

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Video of Mayor De Blasio at the scene:

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PHOTOS BELOW:

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio surveys the aftermath of home fire in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York March 21, 2015. In one of New York City's deadliest fires in years, seven children from the same Orthodox Jewish family died early on Saturday when flames ripped through their Brooklyn home, officials said. The blaze, which erupted just before 12:30 a.m. (0430 GMT), appeared to have been started accidentally by a hot plate, which are used by many Orthodox families to warm food on the Sabbath, said Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro.  (Credit: REUTERS)New
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (R) embraces New York City Fire Department ( FDNY) Commissioner Daniel Nigro after arriving to the site of a home fire in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York March 21, 2015. In one of New York City's deadliest fires in years, seven children from the same Orthodox Jewish family died early on Saturday when flames ripped through their Brooklyn home, officials said. The blaze, which erupted just before 12:30 a.m. (0430 GMT), appeared to have been started accidentally by a hot plate, which are used by many Orthodox families to warm food on the Sabbath, said Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro.  (Credit: REUTERS)
A firefighter surveys the aftermath of a home fire in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York March 21, 2015. Seven children died as flames ripped through a house in New York's Brooklyn borough early on Saturday, an emergency official said. More than 100 firefighters turned out to battle the blaze in Brooklyn's Midwood neighborhood just before 12:30 a.m. local time and brought it under control within an hour, he added.  (Credit: REUTERS)
New York's Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro speaks to reporters during a news conference in front of the scene of a fatal fire in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Saturday, March 21, 2015. The fire raged through a residence early Saturday, killing seven children and leaving two other people in critical condition, authorities said.  (Credit: AP)
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, right, speaks to firefighters who responded to a fatal fire in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Saturday, March 21, 2015. The fire raged through the residence early Saturday, killing seven children and leaving two other people in critical condition, authorities said. (Credit: AP)
Debris lay scattered behind the house at the scene of a fire in the Brooklyn borough of New York Saturday, March 21, 2015.   The fire raged through the residence early Saturday, killing seven children and leaving two other people in critical condition, authorities said. (Credit: AP)
Community affairs police officers speak to women who say they are close friends of the family near the scene of an overnight fire in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Saturday, March 21, 2015. The fire raged through a residence early Saturday, killing seven children and leaving two other people in critical condition, authorities said. (Credit: AP)
Community members stand at the site of a home fire in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York March 21, 2015. Seven children from an Orthodox Jewish family died early on Saturday when flames ripped through their Brooklyn home in one of New York City's deadliest fires in years, officials said. The blaze erupted in the single-family dwelling around 12:30 a.m. (0430 GMT). It apparently was started accidentally by a hot plate, used by many Orthodox families to warm food on the Sabbath, said Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro.  (Credit: REUTERS)
Community members stand outside a home which caught fire in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York March 21, 2015. In one of New York City's deadliest fires in years, seven children from the same Orthodox Jewish family died early on Saturday when flames ripped through their Brooklyn home, officials said. The blaze, which erupted just before 12:30 a.m. (0430 GMT), appeared to have been started accidentally by a hot plate, which are used by many Orthodox families to warm food on the Sabbath, said Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro.  (Credit: REUTERS)
New York City firefighters enter the house where a fire hours earlier ripped through the home leaving seven children dead and two other people in critical condition in Brooklyn in New York , USA, 21 March 2015. It is believed the fire was caused by a malfunctioning hot plate left on for the Sabbath. New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the deceased children range in ages from 5 to 15 years old. (Credit: EPA)
New York City firefighters enter the house where a fire hours earlier ripped through the home leaving seven children dead and two other people in critical condition in Brooklyn in New York , USA, 21 March 2015. It is believed the fire was caused by a malfunctioning hot plate left on for the Sabbath. New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the deceased children range in ages from 5 to 15 years old. (Credit: EPA)
A New York City firefighter (L) inspects the debris at the rear of the house where a fire hours earlier ripped through the home leaving seven children dead and two other people in critical condition in Brooklyn in New York , USA, 21 March 2015. It is believed the fire was caused by a malfunctioning hot plate left on for the Sabbath. New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the deceased children range in ages from 5 to 15 years old. (Credit: EPA)
Firefighters leave the scene of an overnight fire in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Saturday, March 21, 2015. The fire raged through a residence early Saturday, killing seven children and leaving two other people in critical condition, authorities said. (Credit: AP)
Firefighters walk near the scene of a fire, center left, in which seven children died in the Brooklyn borough of New York Saturday, March 21, 2015. (Credit: AP)
{Gavriel Sitrit-Matzav.com Newscenter}

25 COMMENTS

  1. BDE…Oiy Hashem…help us. This is beyond painful. Seven nefashes gone…
    Please parents, the least we can do to honor these children is make sure we all have WORKING smoke detectors on every floor of our houses and instruct our children in case it goes off. We need to always take a lesson from life, unfortunately …this family’s tragedy should alert us to what we sometimes neglect…and c’v this is not to cast blame or anything. We just need to become aware and prevent something like this to ever happen again. Hashem Yishmor. Let us all daven that the mother and daughter have a complete Refuah Sheleima and be strong enough to bear the pain of their loss. The same holds true for the father who lost his family. Hashem should give him the strength to bear this unbelievable loss. A gitten chodosh. May the geula sheleima greet us bekorov…!oiy

  2. We can’t just let this pass with a krechtz and then continue with our lives. I am trying to think of a kabbala that I can take on myself both l’ilui nishmas the niftarim and also to show Hashem that I am listening, that I hear the shofar and the wake-up call. I don’t want to force Him to send another message.

  3. BDE
    Tears are streaming down my cheeks as I feel the pain of the family loss & parents on the loss of such a large family.

    THE list of children & infant deaths just keep growing R”L

    Latest ones include:
    1)Devorah Schmidt A”H-Daughter of Yitzchok & Shaindy of Lakewood-Long illness-February 1 2015-1

    2)Adele Biton-West Bank settlement of Yakir, Israel- critically wounded in a terror attack two years ago, died of lung infection-related complications. -February 17 2015-4

    3)Michoel Hirsch-Son of R’ Chaim Yaakov and Shoshana Hirsch. Of Flatbush-March 2 2015-11

    4)Daniella Zonnenfeld-Daughter of R’Motti of Ra’anana Israel-Killed in MVA-March 3 2015-20

    5)Shimon Yitzchak Eisenbach-from the Ashdod kehilla,-diagnosed with a serious illness-March 20 2015-19

    Do YOU remember these very recent tragedies?

    Look at their young ages & the ways they were Niftar. in such a short span of time.

    do YOU think this is coincidence?

    TIME FOR TESHUVA

    so the list just keeps growing R”L: now 105 children & infants niftar in a matter of less then 4 years=average every 3 weeks another child is being lost by his/her parents R”L can you imagine the pain each one is going through?

    for a complete list of these children & the dates & age niftar etc… email to theteshuvamovement@yahoo.com

    NO MORE SIGNS OF TRAGEDIES NEEDED FROM HASHEM if we all start teshuva NOW we won’t need any more of these tragic wake-up calls from Hashem

    Will we ever wake up? is there any hope for us? if we haven’t woken up yet after hundreds of non-stop tragedies R”L occurring will we ever?

    Let me know if YOU are ready to do teshuva together with klal yisroel so this can stop already & mashiach can come Bim’heira

    May all these special neshamas have an Aliya

  4. Agree with #9; this is something so horrific that I feel the need to internalize this tragedy, & take on something, a kabbalah…… H”KBH is sending us a wake up call….Rosh Choseh Nissan.
    al eileh ani bochia,,,,,,,, BDE

  5. baruch dayan haeemes
    may hashem comfort the family friends, loved ones and all of klal yisroel. may all of those who learn of this tradety improveand better themselves in whicehver why they can

  6. Now would be a good time to remind everyone that many household cleaners people use to clean for Pesach are caustic and can cause severe burns. My niece spent a Pesach in Staten Island burn center because of these cleaners. My son does appliance repairs the most common call he gets before Pesach is people literally taking apart their ovens, especially the door and can’t put it back properly.

  7. BDE

    When a tragedy like this strikes the world everyone is asking what is the message from Hashem?. The RAMCHAL in Sefer Derech Hashem quotes, when klal yisroel is in a state of Sinning R”L, suffering & pain may be imposed upon a tzaddik or sinless Children as an atonement for his entire generation.

    On March 11 2011, Friday night of Parshas Vayikra. a horrific tragedy hit klal yisroel. The entire vogel family-parents & 3 children-were killed in a home terrorist attack during the night. Exactly 4 years later on Friday night of Parshas Vayikra March 20 2015, the Sasoon family of Flatbush was hit by a major Shabbos fire while the family was asleep killing 7 young children. (between the ages of 5 & 16) What is the message from Hashem? Both tragedies-above-occured on the parsha of Korbanos (sacrifices). When we don’t serve Hashem as we should & do teshuva, then innocent sinless children or Righteous people are taken from us as a replacement for the sins that we need to do teshuva on.

  8. Boruch Dayan Emes. All of Hashem’s ways are righteous. The “rules” of life as I once knew it have changed. We can no longer take anything for granted. The only way to stay sane when we face such pain is to see the big picture. So I remind myself that we are all here temporarily in order to fix previous Aveiros made in earlier Gilgulim. Every person agreed to what his situation would be, and that he “could do it”, before he was born. The Neshamot who were Niftar had, simply, “finished their assignment” and are now Nehene Miziv H’Shichina. Now we “just” have to integrate what we know logically, to the devastation that we feel emotionally!

    Parshas B’Shalach talks about “Chipazone”, how we didn’t have the time to bake the Matzos, we were rushed out of Mitzrayim so quickly. Rav Pam Z’tzal says that the “Chipazone” is emphasized because that is the way it will be in our days when the Yeshua comes – quickly and in a rush, it should be very soon. When Moshiach comes, do we go straightaway to Eretz Yisroel? With all of our family and friends, or separately? Because of this, I just made up with friends and family at whose house we should meet in Eretz Yisroel. I’m telling my sister-in-law there to expect a lot of company soon…

  9. Let all of us continue to send our Light and Love and Prayers to the family, friends, and neighbors of Mr. Sassoon. Let us all share the burdeon of this unimaginable pain and loss. And that a healing is taking place for the highest good for the souls of the children and their surviving family members. And, as is divinely willed, that Light and Love through our prayers would reach into the heavens to the souls of the children. We pray for their peace and rest. It is hard enough to bear the shock of one family member passing, and a sudden loss such as this cannot even be understood by the mind or processed through the heart all at once. Let us think of the Sassoons forever united as a family, those in heaven and those still here on earth as one heart that we will not abandon in their times of mourning. May we continue to offer our strength and support through these prayers and to those who are closest to them who may serve them with their words and their hands… And let us appreciate the preciousness of life and of each person we know, and do what we can in those moments in time when we can be together, and seek to be loving and patient and kind to the best of our abilities, because all we have is today and the hope of tomorrow. All of our prayers are needed in this situation. While it is not physically possible for each of us to be there personally for the Sassoons we can be there in our prayers, which is a great gift we each can offer. And may it provide the bits of comfort that will be so very needed to help get them through these days, this year, and this life ahead…And during this time of profound sadness and grief, may all of us be blessed and healed…

  10. Most people may not know but Gabi sasson lost his mother at a very young age and his father passed away years later as well. To lose both your parents at such a young age and then to lose 7 of your children at the same time is beyond any pain that a human can suffer. Still at the funeral he still had faith in Hashem which is unreal. For it to occur during Shabboson this date and time is no accident. hashem is sending a message to everyone worldwide and you don’t need me to explain the message – IT IS QUITE CLEAR.

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