FDNY CONFIRMS: Flatbush Tragedy Caused By Unattended, Lit Menorah

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The Fire Marshals at the FDNY have just confirmed what YWN published this morning – that the horrible fire in Flatbush which took the lives of a mother and three children was started by an “unattended Menorah”.

There were working smoke alarms in the home.

There have been multiple Menorah fires so far this Chanukah. YWN reported on at least three in Israel, and two in Manchester, UK.

As YWN has been reporting, a fire took the lives of a mother and three children early Monday morning.

The deceased have been identified as Mrs. Aliza Azan A”H (39) – the mother of Moshe Azan Z”L (11), Yitzchak Azan Z”L (7), Henrietta Azan A”H (3).

The Levaya will be held at 7:00PM (tonight – Monday) at Beit Knesset “Sheves Achim”, located at Avenue T and East 7th Street in Flatbush.

The Niftarim will be flown on a midnight flight to Eretz Yisroel for Kevura.

Please continue to say Tehillim for Shilat bas Louza Aliza (16) who is critical, Daniel ben Louza Aliza (15) who is critical, and Yosef ben Ahuva Masuda – the father who is critical.

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING FIRE SAFETY TIPS:

WHEN LIGHTING THE MONORAH:

  • NEVER leave Chanukah candles unattended and NEVER go to sleep while Chanukah candles are burning
  • Place the menorah on a sturdy heat resistant surface away from anything that can catch fire including walls, curtains, cabinets, wooden and plastic tables, tablecloths…
  • Light the candles out of children’s reach and where they cannot be knocked over!
  • Keep surfaces and surrounding areas clear from burned matches, wick trimmings, oil residue, and other debris
  • NEVER light “school project” menorahs made from flammable materials (wood, plastic, etc.)

WHEN COOKING LATKES:

  • Keep small children away from hot oil and cooking areas
  • Keep pot handles turned inward and away from the edge of the stove
  • Use extra caution when carrying hot food around children
  • Designate ovens, stoves and heat containing appliances as NO GO ZONES for children
  • Keep hands, hair and sleeves away from open flame
  • NEVER put water on a grease fire, use a fire extinguisher and call the Fire Dept. emergency number
  • Treat burns immediately by cooling with cool water (not cold) and call your local emergency response number

ALWAYS REMEMBER:

  • Supervise children at all times, especially around lit candles, flames, and hot appliances
  • Have working smoke detectors
  • Have/ and practice a family fire emergency escape plan with a designated family meeting area outside of your house
  • Proper fire safety planning and prevention can help keep you and your family safe

For more tips on fire safety for the Jewish community or to bring this program to your community, visit the Maccabee Aish website at www.jewishfireprevention.org

(Charles Gross – YWN)




8 COMMENTS

  1. Perhaps it should also be mentioned that the Mechaber (672:2) states that after the shiur zman one may put out the candles; the Aruch Hashulchan mentions that some have the minhag not to put the candles, but that the minhag by him was to permit this. Even if one generally avoids blowing out the candles, even after zman, in the case where one must leave the room etc where they are lit, one should certainly rely on ikkar hadin halacha since this is a real case of sakanta (no raya is necessary r”l) and blow them out.

  2. How could they possibly know that it was the menorah? It seems very far fetched that the menorah woukd have been lit so many hours. Who has a menorah lit 2am? Or maybe they have no clue what caused it because the house is so damaged that they can’t figure it out. I’m not saying not to be careful with the menorah’s, of course people should be, I’m just questioning FDNY’s conclusion.

  3. As terrible as this tragedy is and as correct as the fire safety guidelines given in this article are, YWN can do something more to prevent such a tzarah from ever occurring in the future. There are many misguided people who go to Chanukah parties and leave menoras lit or go to sleep, like rachmona litzlam in this case, thinking (wrongly) that extinguishing a menorah after it has burned the proper shiur is somehow wrong. If YWN would publish a psak from recognized poskim, it would prevent this wrong type of thinking from causing chas v’shalom a future tragedy.

  4. I see a lot of problems that need to be addressed that are not included in the Menorah warnings.

    Over the past few years there is a Menorah that is being sold that appear to be a beautiful menorah. One of these Menorah’s made in China was given to me as a gift. This year after owning it for three years I noticed that parts of the Menorah are getting loose. Right when I received it I took notice that the the cups are not level. They are also bent this way and that way. That means when you place the glasses in the Menorah they are crooked.

    I don’t have time now to discuss how the glasses are not really made for the Menorah’s that are not really made for them.

  5. That’s why out of abundance of caution I prayed @home this past Friday nite not to leave my Chanukiah unattended, despite my strong aversion to missing Tefilla b’Tzibur.

    BTW, the Johrzeit of these 4 Niftorim [as well as the Niftorim on this Amtrak train in Washington state] in years with no Kisslev 30th is observed on Teves 1st, since next year will have a Kisslev 30th, so this Johrzeit becomes fixed on Rosh-Chodesh.

  6. It seems mindless to debate “minhagim” about whether or not to put out candles (chanukah, shabbos, yom tov or whatever) if there is there is any material concern about sakanas nefesh by leaving thm burning. At some point, is becomes so self-obvious, you don’t need to consult anyone about risking the lives of your chilldren, yourself or you neiighbors. If for some reason you have to leave the houe with lit candles, PUT THEM OUT. Even if you and your kids will not be home, in most multi-family and adjacent row houses, a fire in one uni puts EVERYONE at risk.

  7. Tragedy! Tragedy! Tragedy of epic proportion!
    It’s curious that these fires are attributed to Chanuka menoros which the bulk of the comments are rrstricted to Chanuka safety. Notice how there haven’t been fires – AND MAY HASHEM WATCH OVER ALL HIS CHILDREN – re lated to Shabbos licht! Every home has those too! There’s got to be some gezayra min hashamayim; No?

    As for school menoros, these were not the culprit – not at this tragedy nor the others! They need to be made safely abd if they are, then I see no reason to blanket ban them! Safety, Safety and more safety and siyaata dishmaya!

  8. FILL MOST OF YOUR (GLASS) CUPS WITH WATER!
    This chanukah I came up with an idea which is developing over the last week. This is especially helpful if you want to light and can’t be around the whole entire night to watch the Menorah. I fill my glass cups with approximately 2/3 of water and top it off with oil. I was inspired by the way it is done in our home for the Shabbos Licht. Initially I thought to save oil for the entire Chanukah. But then it dawned on me that the lights don’t need to be going all night and this method allows me to go to sleep on time so I can be up at minyan the next morning before heading off to work. In past years I sat until 1am watching and waiting. Think about it and if works for you then try this on the last night of Chanukah!