The house fire that claimed the lives of a Jewish mother and three of her children in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn early Monday morning may have been caused by a Hanukkah menorah.
A 40-year-old woman, her 11-year-old son, 7-year-old son, and 3-year-old daughter perished as a result of a house fire that broke out overnight in the three story home as they slept.
Investigators have turned their attention to the oil-fed menorah which relatives said the family kept on the first floor.
“This may be the source of the fire because it was in the room on the first floor where the fire was predominately contained,” a law enforcement official told the New York Post.
Neighbors said that the house was home to a family of eight - two parents and six children. The father is in critical condition, and two of the children who survived the blaze are in serious condition, while the third is stable.
At least 10 people were injured in the fire, including three people who suffered serious injuries. Five of the injured were firefighters attempting to rescue people trapped inside the burning building.
The parents had moved to Brooklyn from Israel and celebrated the Bar Mitzvah of one of their sons five months ago, according to the haredi website Behadrei Haredim.
The funeral of the victims is expected to take place in Israel.