TRAGEDY IN FLATBUSH: Mother And 3 Children Killed In House Fire, Others Critical [TEHILLIM NAMES]

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(VIDEOS & PHOTOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE)

Tragedy struck the Flatbush community early Monday morning, when a mother and three children — 11 and 7-year-old boys, and a 3-year-old girl — died in fast-moving house fire R”L.

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro says the woman and children were killed around 2:30 a.m. Monday at 1946 East 14th.

The 45-year-old father and two children were critically injured, officials said; seven others, including five firefighters and two boys, had minor injuries.

Please say Tehillim for Shilat bas Louza Aliza (16) who is critical, Daniel ben Louza Aliza (15) who is critical, Avraham ben Louza Aliza (13) stable, and Yosef ben Ahuva Masuda – the father who is critical.

The bodies of Moshe, (11) Yitzchak (7) and Henrietta (3) were found near their 40-year-old mother Aliza on the second floor.

The family name is Azan.

All critical patients have been transported to Staten Island Burn Unit and have been placed on respirators.

Many people may know Mr. Yosi Azan (father – pictured to the left) from working at the Hat Box on Coney Island Avenue for many years.

Tragically, sources have confirmed that some of the children are classmates at Yeshivat Ateret Torah with the Sassoon children who were R”L killed in a tragic fire in Flatbush in 2015.

See what Yosi Azan posted in 2015 after the Sassoon family tragedy

Commissioner Nigro says firefighters arrived on scene within 2 1/2 minutes of getting the call from a neighbor and the fire was already “consuming” all three floors of the building.

He says the fire was accidental but the cause has not yet been pinpointed – although highly credible sources have confirmed to YWN that the FDNY is investigating this as being started by a Menorah fire.

“It was early morning; everyone in the home was asleep,” Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. The fire “got a good start before a neighbor noticed and called us.”

“What they were confronted with is fire meeting them at the front door,” he said. “So the units, knowing there were people in the home, pushed in very aggressively.”

In all, nine people were in the house — the couple, their six children and a cousin.

“This is a terrible tragedy, not just for this community, but for our city,” Nigro said. “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.”

Misaskim has been working through the night from the scene as well as with the NYC Medical Examiner to ensure Kavod HaMes. The Niftarim will hopefully be released and will be flown later today to Eretz Yisroel for the Levaya and Kevura. Chesed Shel Emes was on the scene as well.

Baruch Daayan Haemes…

FDNY Commissioner Nigro

Yosi Azan in the Hat Box – always smiling with customers.
Yosi Azan in 2014 doing Bike4Chai
The Azan family on a trip to Israel. Photo was posted to Facebook by Yosi Azan

(AP / YWN World Headquarters – NYC)




21 COMMENTS

  1. BD’E.
    A menorah fire at 230am? Unlikely.

    Will everyone apologize and ask m’chila from the mishpacha AND HKB’H when we find out this wasn’t related to a mitzva?

    I doubt it.

  2. Don’t EVER underestimate the danger of fire–My friends and family have always called me crazy because I am so nervous around flame, and especially when kids and fire are near each other–not sure how this happened, but menorahs, candlesticks, etc, MUST be protected from kids ability to knock them over. PERIOD–and …make sure your smoke detectors WORK!!-did they have them?-I have NO idea, but I know plenty of people that don’t–and while we are at it–wear reflective belts at night!!!

  3. To El Rushbo,

    Perhaps it wasn’t a menorah. Perhaps you are correct.

    But…..

    Do you know what time every family lights the Menorah?
    Perhaps Reuven and family were out visiting his brother Shimon out of town and there was terrible traffic or some other factor that plays a role in them getting home late.

    What if Reuven and his family are out all day and arrive back home at 10pm or later? Reuven lights with family and falls asleep thereafter. Also the lights can easily go for a good few hours as the glass cups are rather large.

    Bottom line is not every person lights at 4:30pm. Supermarket owners light at midnight sometimes. Perhaps doctors or car service drivers or people who may have been visiting someone in the hospital.

    What if someone was sick all day so they push off the time to light until midnight?

    Do you know when everyone lights their menorah?

    Do you?

  4. This is surely a horrible tragedy. The only thing I know about it learned from this article and a similar article from the supposedly anti-Semitic New York Times, but the Times article did not mention any possibility that the fire was the result of observing a mitvah.

    Mitzvahs are complicated, even the apparently simple ones. No mitzvah is more important than protecting life, and mitzvahs involving fire must not be carried out while ignoring the mitzvah to protect life. So, el rashbo, don’t hold your breath waiting for any apologies. May I suggest that the use of flammable oil is riskier that using candles, and the oil must not be stored near the burning menorahs. And spilled oil can never be completely removed from carpet, thereby laying a trap if, C”V, something should spark.

  5. Whether it was or it wasn’t, another YWN article quotes the following:
    “During Chanukah this year, we are witness to the fire and rescue of Israel
    responding to a large number of fires, some of them with casualties, all as
    a result of the lighting.”

  6. Unspeakably horrible tragedy. I am nearly 57 and have seen many fires started by the Menorah; the first was where my friends house burned down 50 years ago in Long Beach. I never associated these tragedies as linked outcomes of a mitzvah and I don’t think it is accurate to do so. The fact is that the flame of the menorah does ignite other things but this does not in any way effect the mitzvah nor should one be insulted by the association. May we all be safe.

  7. First , so sad. May the rest of the family have a complete refuah shelaima. May HaShem comfort the family and they should have only Simchas now on. My heart goes out to them.
    To EL RUSHBO. My husband doesn’t get home from work sometimes until VERY late. I have also seen larger than normal menorahs which require a LOT more oil resulting in the menorah lasting for a few hours. Also it could have been a school menorah. ( which should be banished). Sadly the FDNY did confirm that it was a menorah.

  8. This was obviously a terrible blow for the family, all of Brooklyn and Klal Yisroel.

    However, it must be said that the mitzvah of Chanukah licht is for only one HALF HOUR or at most one HALF HOUR past the latest zman. Filling up enormous cups of oil so that they should burn for hours on end is unnecessary and, as we see, tragic.

    If one arrives home late at night, he should light for ONE HALF HOUR ONLY. Then blow out the wicks (YES, you can do this. Ask any poiseik) before going to bed. There is absolutely NO HETER to have a lit menorah unattended while people sleep.

    Hashem yeracheim. May the pure neshomos be a meilitz yosher for the family and Klal Yisroel.

  9. A fire like this could start with either chanukah licht or shabbos licht…we need to be careful in BOTH and while this is clearly a tragedy, not a reason to stop doing mitzvos…just a reminder to do them with proper concern for pikuach nefesh.

  10. Terribke, terrible tragedy!
    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!

  11. What a horrific tragedy absolutely horrible!!

    Since some are discussing lighting late, perhaps it is worth mentioning 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 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.

  12. “There’s got to be some gezayra min hashamayim; No?”

    No.

    First, there have sadly been many fires caused by Shabbos lecht over the years. Second, Shabbos candles and candlesticks tend to be more substantial and less likely to fall over and start a fire. Sadly, too many Chanukah lechts are not well constructed, the wax tends to build up inside the holder towards the end of Chanukah and the candles themselves are thinner and harder to insert all the way down into the holder without “breaking” the candle. Also, many have the minhag for hidur mitzvah to place the lecht by the window or where it can be seen but too close to curtains, draperies etc.

  13. “There’s got to be some gezayra min hashamayim; No?”

    No.

    First, there have sadly been many fires caused by Shabbos lecht over the years. Second, Shabbos candles and candlesticks tend to be more substantial and less likely to fall over and start a fire. Sadly, too many Chanukah lechts are not well constructed, the wax tends to build up inside the holder towards the end of Chanukah and the candles themselves are thinner and harder to insert all the way down into the holder without “breaking” the candle. Also, many have the minhag for hidur mitzvah to place the lecht by the window or where it can be seen but too close to curtains, draperies etc.

  14. I look at some of the comments on here and am horrified. Firstly there was a terrible tragedy to this family, community and Klal Yisrael. If people think they have advice to offer then first feel the sorrow and pain that envelopes klal Yisrael. Yes we need to be careful and watch but we have no clue to what happened and secondly where exactly is G-d in the scenario of all the people that know the reasons it happened. We need to protect ourselves to the best of our abilities but past that our hands are clean. We would all do well to ask ourselves why is this happening? Chazal tell us that when we hear something that affects us, it is a message to us all. G-d is not like a mortal king and takes into consideration all the people affected by this. We must check within ourselves and pour our hearts out to the only one who can stop our sorrow. Again this does not mean that we don’t take precautions it just means “Hashem hu Ha’Elokim” Is the G-d of din. Our hearts are broken for the pain of these holy people who are carrying our sins. May Hashem comfort them within the mourners of Tzion and Yerushalyim. Words seem meaningless at a time like this, It is the only thing we have available at this moment. We all cry with you our brothers.

  15. A great way to ensure safety over chanukah is to purchase a glass casing for all the menorahs you light. It is very common in israel. Prefferably shatter proof.

  16. To Donna:
    Its not mutually exclusive at this time of tragedy in re feeling incredible sorrow that something so horrible could happen but at the same time reiterating that there IS something we can do to reduce the likelihood of future occurrences. It is a matter of personal choice to simply invoke some concept of hashgacha paratis and say its beyond our control or to cry out as loud as we can that there ARE thinks that we can do individually and collectively as a tzibur to make future tragedies less likely. What we also can do is never frame our “musar” in a way that adds any hurt to the vicitims of prior tragedies.

  17. 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!