7 children killed in Brooklyn house fire

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[www.inewsguyana.com] – Seven brother and sisters were killed and two others — including their mother and their teenage sister — were critically injured when a flames ripped through their large brick home in Brooklyn early Saturday in what fire officials are calling the city’s largest fire tragedy in years.

The siblings, ranging in age from 5 to 15, were found dead in their bedrooms after the blaze broke out at their home on Bedford Avenue and Avenue M in Midwood at 12:23 a.m., according to FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

“This is the largest tragedy by fire the city has had in 7 years,” said Nigro, who was visibly shaken up at a Saturday morning news briefing.

The blaze appears to have started when a hot plate in the kitchen, left on overnight to keep food warm, malfunctioned and caught fire. There were no smoke detectors on the first or second floors of the home, and flames and smoke quickly moved through the brick structure.

The children’s mother, 45, and one of their teen sister, 14, woke up before the flames spread through the house and escaped by jumping through a window. The seven other children, four boys and three girls, were in their bedrooms in the rear of the house, where Nigro said they all perished.

Firefighters were able to respond to the scene in about 3 minutes, Nigro said. The blaze went to two alarms, and more than 100 firefighters worked for hours to douse the flames and recover the bodies fo the children. One firefighter was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The mother and teen girl were both taken to the hospital where they remain in critical condition.

Nigro said the children’s father was out of town at a conference and that fire officials have had trouble getting in touch with the man.

Area resident Nate Weber told the New York Post that he saw children being wheeled away on stretchers. “I turned away. I didn’t even want to look,” he said.

Weber said he heard the children’s mother yelling for help. “I heard a woman yelling: ‘My kids are in there. Get them out. Get them out,'” he told the Post. [Extracted from NBC New York]