Mother, three children die in Brooklyn house fire

Several others injured, including other family members and 5 firefighters, as blaze ravages New York home; Hebrew media says family was Jewish

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Screen capture from video of a house fire in  Brooklyn that killed four people, December 18, 2017. (YouTube)
Screen capture from video of a house fire in Brooklyn that killed four people, December 18, 2017. (YouTube)

A mother and three of her children were killed and several others injured in a Brooklyn house fire that devastated the family home overnight Sunday.

The fire broke out on the second floor of home at 1945 E. 14th St. near Ave S in Sheepshead Bay around 2:30 a.m and then spread to the attic.

A woman, 40, two of her sons, 11 and 7, and a daughter, 3, died in the flames, according to FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro, CBS New York reported. They were found on the second floor of the building.

The occupants of the home at the time were a couple, their six children and a cousin, Nigro said. Hebrew media reported the home belonged to a Jewish family.

“The father and two other teenagers are in critical condition and fighting for their lives in the hospital,” Nigro added. “Two other boys were injured but not critically.”

Nigro said that firefighters reached the home within three minutes of being alerted but the building was already ablaze.

Five firefighters suffered light injuries.

“It was early morning, everyone in the home was asleep,” Nigro said. “The fire gets started and it got a good start before a neighbor noticed and called us.”

“The fire traveled very quickly,” he added. “The fire went from the first floor front, up the stairs to the second, again up the stairs to the attic.”

One of those who survived jumped from a window, while others were able to escape from a side door.

The cause of the fire was being investigated, the report said.

“This is a terrible tragedy, not just for this community, but for our city. This time of year, when these things strike, it just tears your heart out for the family,” Nigro said. “Our city grieves with this family today.”

Sunday night marked the sixth night of the eight-day long Hanukkah festival during which Jews light an eight-branched candelabrum. Fires started by the naked flames are not uncommon.

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