Funerals announced
Jewish Community 'in Shock' Over Brooklyn Tragedy

ZAKA officials describe gruesome scene; seven children to be buried in Jerusalem Monday.

Yoni Kempinski and Tova Dvorin,

Sassoon family home burnt in Brooklyn
Sassoon family home burnt in Brooklyn

The Brooklyn fire which killed seven members of the same Orthodox Jewish family has hit the Jewish community especially hard - particularly due to the gruesomeness of the scene, ZAKA International officials stated to Arutz Sheva on Sunday. 

"We arrived at the scene and discovered a terrible sight here, seven bodies of small children," ZAKA's Lachish region commander, Yossi Landau, recalled. ZAKA's Operations Manager Haim Weingarten also arrived at the scene Saturday night, to assist in the organization's work of retrieving bodies for a proper Jewish burial. 

"The Jewish community is in shock due to this exceptionally difficult incident, like the US hasn't seen in years," Landau continued. "We are here to try to help as much as possible." 

A hot plate apparently malfunctioned and sparked an electrical fire overnight Friday/Saturday, trapping the family inside their Midwood home as they slept. Orthodox Jews leave hot plates on during Shabbat to keep food warm according to halakha (Jewish law - ed.). 

Firefighters were called to the blaze in the home in the borough of Brooklyn shortly after midnight. The victims were aged between 5 and 15.

They have been named as Elian (16), David (12), Rivka (11), Yehoshua (10), Moshe (8), Sara (6), and Yaakov (5) Sassoon. 

A 45-year-old woman thought to be their mother and another girl, 14, escaped by jumping out of windows and were being treated in area hospitals in critical condition.

The family lived in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof for many years, and only moved to Brooklyn recently. 

Funerals for the children will be held in Jerusalem Monday at 2:00 pm.