Mother, 3 children killed in Sheepshead Bay firePosted: Updated:
A mother and her three children were killed in a house fire sparked by a menorah in Brooklyn early Monday, officials say.
The fire broke out inside a two-story home on East 14th Street just after 2 a.m.
A 39-year-old mother, her 11- and 7-year-old sons and their 3-year-old sister all died in the fire, according to fire officials.
All four victims were found on the second floor once firefighters extinguished the blaze.
The victims, identified by authorities as members of the Azan family, moved to the Brooklyn neighborhood from Israel about a year ago.
The 45-year-old husband of the woman killed in the fire suffered critical injuries during the blaze, but managed to escape with two of his sons.
They were transported to Staten Island University Hospital in critical condition.
A 16-year-old girl identified as a cousin of the family jumped from the home to escape the fire, according to witnesses.
She and another person who were inside of the home also suffered injuries and were transported to the hospital in stable condition.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro described the incident as a complete tragedy, and says the fast-moving fire spread through open stairwells inside of the home preventing the family members from leaving.
"Fire travels very quickly and many times people aren't able to get down the stairs because they have to go down into the fire. Unfortunately they were not able to do that," Nigro says.
Nigro says there was at least one working smoke detector inside the home.
Neighbors say it is a huge loss for the community, particularly during Hanukkah, a holiday celebrated for miracles.
Fire officials, however, say the father’s heroism prevented the scenario from becoming much worse. News 12 is told the man rushed back into the burning home to do what he could to save his family members.
Hundreds of community members turned out at the family’s home Monday night to pay their respects and honor the lives lost in the fire.