Earlier today, NYC mayor, Bill de Blasio issued the following statement: “Our city is mourning the loss of three children and their mother in a fire early this morning in Sheepshead Bay. As a parent, it’s impossible for me to imagine what this family is going through right now. Over the last couple days, several other major fires have caused many injuries – some very serious – and displaced others from their homes. During the holiday season, we all need to be cautious with decorations, electric lights, candles, space heaters and other items. We will continue working with FDNY to promote fire safety, especially during the winter months when there’s an increased risk of fires.”
The Azan family was trapped by an inferno on the second floor of their Brooklyn home which climbed from one floor to the next.
The fire on East 14th Street in Sheepshead Bay was discovered and called in at around 2:00 a.m. One teen boy managed to jump from a second floor in the house and the father reportedly dropped another boy from a 2nd floor window. The others escaped through a side door. The entire house was engulfed in flames and burned through the second floor and the attic
Firefighters reportedly arrived at the home in less than two and a half minutes from when the call came in. Five firefighters also were injured while battling the blaze.
Yosi Azam, the father and husband of the victims, desperately tried to rescue his entire family. He was left badly burned and said to be clinging to life at the burn unit at Staten Island University Hospital. Azam and two of his other children suffered critical injuries.
“Tragedy strikes at this time of year, and as I say before, this time of year makes it that much sadder,” FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. “Four people died here, a mom and three children. The father, who acted very courageously, got two teenagers out safely.”
Nigro praised the father, who got two teenaged children out of the house before he heroically went back into the raging blaze in hopes of saving his wife and other kids.
“He was able to get out of the second floor, severely burned, tried to get back in to save the rest of his family, the ones he didn’t already save,” the commissioner said. “We believe he acted very courageously and tried desperately. Hopefully, it didn’t cost him his life also.”
Firefighters found the bodies of the mother Aliza Azan, 40, and her 3-year-old daughter, Henrietta, together in a bedroom on the second floor. Yitzy, 7, and Moshe, 11 the two deceased sons, were found together in another bedroom on the second floor.
Neighbors said that on each night of Hanukkah, the Azan’s would light a large oil menorah in the living room window that faced the street.
Yosi Azan in critical condition with a tube in his mouth at the burn unit at Staten Island University Hospital.
“His breathing is difficult. It’s more than just burning,” said a friend at the hospital.
According to Missaskim founder, Jack Meyer, Mr Azan’s 16-year-old daughter, Shalit, and 15-year-old son Daniel, remained hospitalized with in critical condition.
Please say Tehillim for the victims of the Brooklyn fire. Yosef ben Ahuva Masuda (The father), Shilat bas Louza Aliza (16) and Daniel ben Louza Aliza (15), and Avraham ben Louza Aliza (13) who are in very critical condition.