Bodies of siblings killed in New York fire arrive in Israel

Mourners attend funeral services for the seven siblings killed in a house fire, Sunday, March 22, 2015, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The siblings, ages 5 to 16, died early Saturday when flames engulfed the Sassoon family home in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn. Investigators believe a hot plate left on a kitchen counter set off the fire that trapped the children and badly injured their mother and another sibling. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

BEN GURION AIRPORT, Israel (AP) — The bodies of seven ultra-Orthodox Jewish siblings who died in the most fatal New York house fire in years arrived Monday in Israel for burial.

The bodies of the children from the Sassoon family, ages 5 to 16, were flown into Israel’s international airport and whisked away by police escort in a convoy of cars toward a Jerusalem cemetery.

Their ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn was shattered by the fatal house fire believed to have been caused by a hot plate left on for the Sabbath. Investigators say the hot plate apparently malfunctioned, setting off flames that incinerated the stairs, trapping the children in their second-floor bedrooms as they slept.

Related: 7 siblings perish NYC home fire, officials eye hot plate

The blaze killed three girls and four boys — all members of the neighborhood’s tightknit community of ultra-Orthodox Jews. Both the mother and a daughter — Gayle Sassoon and 14-year-old Siporah Sassoon — remained in critical condition.

The tragedy had some reconsidering the practice of keeping hot plates on for the Sabbath, a common modern method of obeying tradition prohibiting the use of fire on the holy day.

The children will be buried later Monday in Jerusalem.

Alon Edri, who identified himself as a rabbi and relative of the family, said it was significant for the religious family to be buried in the Holy Land.

“We believe that being buried in Israel is important because all of your sins are then absolved,” he said.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s