[Levaya and donation information below.] Tragedy struck the Flatbush, Brooklyn, community on the night of Shemini Atzeres as a fire claimed the life of an 8-year-old boy. The blaze Wednesday night broke out as Rabbi and Mrs. Yaakov and Chana Krasny were in their sukkah on the second floor of their apartment on Avenue P, between Coney Island Avenue and East 12th Street, at about 9:30 p.m.
Reb Yaakov and his wife heard their sons and daughters screaming about a fire and ran into the home to try to pull out their six children. Mrs. Krasny attempted to soothe her terrified children, holding the hand of her youngest, Miriam, repeating, “Mommy’s here with you.”
Reb Yaakov heroically ran into the burning home multiple times and rescued five of his children, but tragically couldn’t reach his 8-year-old son, Avigdor, trying to escape the flames through a third-floor window.
Firefighters could not rescue him as he had suffered severe smoke inhalation.
Avigdor was seen by witnesses running back and forth in front of his bedroom window before he disappeared in the choking smoke of the three-alarm fire. He was trapped in his bedroom and had no way out.
Fire Chief Michael Marone said the “flames were substantial and [Avigdor] was trapped in his bedroom.
“It was very tough to get him out because the flames were at the very top, which is where he was trapped.”
The house is located two doors down from the Manhattan Lights lighting store at the corner of Coney Island Avenue and Avenue P.
Neighbors told Matzav.com that the flames shot out of the roof and could be seen from blocks away. It took more than an hour to get the three-alarm blaze under control.
A 10-year-old boy, a 7-year-old boy, a 5-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy were all taken to the burn unit at Staten Island University Hospital.
1-year-old Miriam was in serious condition.
The cause of the fire is still unknown, though a fire official at the scene said that he believes the blaze started in the kitchen.
According to officials, about 20 people were in the house at the time of the fire.
The Krasnys lived on the third floor of the home, which is owned by Reb Mechel Rosenbaum, a son of Rav Yosef Rosenbaum, rov of Khal Ginzei Yosef on Avenue R in Flatbush.
Reb Yaakov Krasny is a dedicated mispallel at Bais Yisroel Torah Center on Ocean Parkway, Rav Avigdor Miller’s shul, which is now led by Rav Eliyahu Brog. Reb Yaakov, a close talmid of Rav Miller, is a distinguished member of the kollel at the Mirrer Yeshiva in Flatbush and a noted talmid chochom and yorei Shomayim.
The community has been plunged into mourning due to the tragedy.
Rav Osher Kalmanowitz, rosh yeshiva of the Mirrer Yeshiva, made an appeal this morning in the yeshiva to assist the family and followed up by visiting several neighborhood shuls in Flatbush to make appeals for the grieving family.
Matzav.com will provide further appeal information soon.
Levaya information is not yet finalized.
Boruch dayan emes.
Umacha Hashem dimah mei’al kol ponim.
Update: The levaya will be held tomorrow, Sunday, at noon, at Bais Yisroel Torah Center, located on Ocean Parkway, between Avenues R and S, in Flatbush.
Those who wish to participate in helping the family may make checks out to Keren Hatzolas Nefashos and send them to:
Keren Hatzalos Nefashos
Rav Eliyahu Brudny
1752 East 18th Street
Brooklyn, NY, 11229