Seven children killed in New York house blaze

Mar 22, 2015, 07:53 IST | Agencies

Cop says this is the worst tragedy city has seen in seven years

New York: Seven children from the same family died on Saturday when their New York home was engulfed in flames after a portable cooker malfunctioned.

US Fire
New York firefighters inspect a home fire in the Midwood neighborhood in Brooklyn. Pic/AFP

The hot plate may have been left on to keep food warm because of Orthodox Jewish customs that bar cooking on the Sabbath, New York fire commissioner Daniel Nigro said. “This is the largest tragedy by fire that this city has had in seven years,” Nigro said.

Firefighters were called to the blaze in the home in the borough of Brooklyn shortly after midnight. The victims were three girls aged eight, 12 and 15; and four boys aged five, six, seven and 11.

A 45-year-old woman thought to be their mother and another girl, 14, escaped by jumping out of windows and were being treated in area hospitals in critical condition.

The mother and the eight children were in at least five upstairs bedrooms when the fire broke out in the
kitchen downstairs.

“To find a house full of children that can’t be revived, I’m sure this will take its toll on our members for quite some time,” Nigro said.

Authorities were having difficulties reaching the father, who was away at a conference.

Nigro said there was no sign of working smoke detectors on the first or second floors.

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