Dozens of hasidim rescued from massive California hotel fire

Dozens of Satmar hasidim were caught in massive blaze at California hotel Friday night.

Contact Editor
Tzvi Lev,

Fire (Illustration)
Fire (Illustration)

Dozens of Satmar hasidim were rescued by firefighters after the California hotel they were staying at went up in flames on Friday night.

The hasidim were spending Shabbat at California's Royal Hotel in Palm Springs in order to be near their Rebbe, or grand rabbi. On Friday night, the hotel was mysteriously engulfed in flames for reasons which firefighters are still investigating. While no one was hurt, many lost their belongings in the blaze.

"A fire broke out at the Royal Hotel in Palm Spring on the night of the Shabbat. The hotel was attended by nine families of Satmar Hasidim who came to be near Satmar Rebbe, and in a miracle, everyone was saved, but we did suffer property damage" tweeted Asher Wagshal, one of the hasidim at the hotel.

"Members of the local Jewish community found places for them to stay until Shabbat was over," Wagshal added.

According to CBS 2 California, the fire started at the hotel's second floor on Friday night and quickly spread to the hotel's third story. "The fire was lapping up and it extended into a room on the third floor directly above the main fire unit," recounted Palm Springs Fire Department Batallion Chief Robert Wright.

A cause has yet to be determined.

The American Jewish community has been on edge ever since Aliza Azan, 39, and three of the family's children, Moshe, 11, Yitzchak, 7, and Henrietta, perished when a fire ripped through their Sheepshead Bay home on Hanukka. The father of the Azan family and two other children were seriously injured.

In 2015, Elian (16), David (12), Rivka (11), Yehoshua (10), Moshe (8), Sara (6), and Yaakov (5) Sassoon died after a hot plate in their house in Flatbush, New York apparently malfunctioned. The blaze trapped the family inside their home as they slept.