Over $550,000 raised for survivors of Brooklyn fire

GoFundMe campaign raises over $550,000 in eight days for surviving members of the Azan family.

Ben Ariel and JTA ,

Azan family
Azan family
Courtesy of the family

A crowdfunding campaign, created to aid the surviving members of the Azan family whose home burned down in Brooklyn during Hanukkah, has raised over $550,000 in eight days, JTA reported Wednesday.

Aliza Azan, 39, her sons Moshe, 11 and Yitzhak, 7, and a daughter, Henrietta, 3, died in an early morning house fire on December 18. Police believe the fire was started by a Hanukkah menorah, even though the house had a working smoke detector.

Three of the four surviving family members remain on respirators and are being treated for burns. The father, Yosi Azan, who is credited with saving his surviving children and attempting to save the others by running into the burning building, and his son Daniel, 15, were transferred to Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Yosi’s daughter Shilat, 16, remains at Staten Island University Hospital with multiple broken bones. Earlier this week it was reported that her condition had deteriorated and the public was asked to pray for the recovery of Shilat Ahuva bat Aliza.

Avraham Azan, 13, the one survivor without injuries, traveled to Israel for the burial of his mother and siblings. He will return to New York where he will stay with relatives, according to JTA. A cousin who was sleeping in the house also survived with minor injuries.

The GoFundMe campaign was created by Rabbi David Ozeri, the family’s rabbi, who hopes to raise $1 million for the Azans.

“A very large chunk of that will be used for medical expenses that will not be covered by insurance, including plastic surgery,” Ozeri told Vos Iz Neis, adding, “The Azans did not own a home and had no renter’s insurance … They had no savings, nothing. Everything is gone down to the last spoon.”

Yosi Azan is a well-known figure in the local Syrian Jewish community. Aliza's father, Rabbi Avraham Hamra, was the last Chief Rabbi of Damascus and a well-known rabbi in Holon.