Hundreds of residents of the apartments on Sorotzkin Street that were engulfed in fire in the early hours of Tuesday morning woke up to a nightmare of fire and heavy smoke that prevented most of them from leaving their apartments.
It’s still unclear what caused the massive blaze that destroyed several apartments and about 20 cars. “We woke up to the sounds of strong explosions,” Yitzchak, a Sorotzkin resident, told B’Chadrei Chareidim. “The whole apartment was filled with smoke. We pulled the kids from their beds and fled.”
“My apartment incurred heavy damage,” Yitzchak said. “But we’re thankful to Hakadosh Baruch Hu that none of the children were hurt – it was a great neis.”
“My wife woke up and saw black smoke,” another resident, also named Yitzchak, told B’Chadrei. “The first thing we did was check on the children. We wanted to flee but it was too late since the stairwell was full of smoke. We couldn’t leave so we went with the kids in an inner room of our apartment, where we stayed put for two hours until the rescue services came and evacuated us.”
זירת השריפה הקשה בסורוצקין: חבר מועצת העיר אלחנן גרוסבוים עם נציגי פיקוד העורף ואנשי המקצוע בהיערכות כעת לעזרה לתושבים שנפגעו pic.twitter.com/F7XGjcCPQQ
— משה ויסברג (@moshe_nayes) November 24, 2020
“My car, which was parked in the parking lot, was destroyed by the fire, like many other cars. I had extremely valuable equipment in the car and unfortunately, it turned out that it wasn’t insured. We still don’t understand what caused the fire. It could have ended in a terrible tragedy.”
Rivka, a 17-year-old teenager who was lightly injured during the incident, spoke about her experience to Kikar H’Shabbos. Rivka isn’t a Sorotskin resident but was sleeping by her friend’s home for the night, only to be woken up at 3:30 a.m. to the fire. They ran out to the porch, where they stayed for two hours before being rescued.
Rivka said that she was sure she was going to die. “I felt like the people in the Twin Towers tragedy who were on the upper floors.”
Despite the horrifying moments and the physical damage, the fact that there were no deaths or serious injuries, with only six residents requiring hospitalization for light injuries, was an incredible neis. Hodu L’Hashem Ki Tov.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)