(JTA) — Seven children from an Orthodox Jewish family died when a fire tore through their Brooklyn home.
The children, ages 5 to 15, were killed overnight Friday when a fire trapped them in the second-floor bedrooms of their home in Brooklyn’s heavily Jewish Midwood neighborhood, The New York Times reported. Authorities said the fire was started by a hot plate often used by observant families to keep food warm on the Jewish sabbath.
The fire was the deadliest in New York City in eight years, according to the Times.
The children’s mother and a 14-year-old sister leapt from a window and were reported in critical condition at local hospitals.
Three girls, ages 8, 12 and 15, and four boys, ages 5, 6, 7 and 11, died in the fire. The children’s father was not at home at the time.
Mayor Bill DeBlasio visited the scene of the blaze on Saturday morning.