BROOKLYN - Members of the tight-knit Orthodox Jewish community in Midwood are reeling after a fire swept through a home early Saturday morning, killing seven children and critically injuring the children's mother and her eldest daughter.

The flames broke out at the home located at 3371 Bedford Ave. shortly after midnight. Four boys and three girls, all between the ages of 5 and 15, perished in the fire.

The family involved in the fire would have been waking up Saturday to go to synagogue for the sabbath.

As many members of the Orthodox Jewish community do not watch or listen to the news on the sabbath, neighbors learned of the fire by word of mouth or by seeing the charred structure themselves. Several residents shed tears as they learned children had perished in the fire.

Authorities say it marks the deadliest fire in New York City in seven years.