Efrat and Tzvi Ginzburg
Efrat and Tzvi Ginzburg Courtesy of the family

Two-year-old Tzvi Ginzburg and his four-year-old sister Efrat, who were killed in a fire that broke out in their home in Beitar Illit, were laid to rest Wednesday in Jerusalem, side by side.

The family is currently living in a temporary apartment until the restoration of their apartment, which was completely burned down.

The investigation, which opened after the disaster, shows that a fallen lamp apparently caused the fire. The parents had gone to a family event in Jerusalem and their five children remained at home. In one room there were three sisters aged 11, 9 and 6, and in the other room were Tzvi and Efrat.

A neighbor who lives nearby was asked to take care of the children and occasionally entered the Ginzburg apartment to make sure everything was alright.

When the fire broke out, the three sisters fled to the apartment of neighbor Dvora Indorsky and asked in horror, "Where are our siblings?" Indorsky told Yediot Aharonot that "They were frightened and black with coal. I went out to the balcony and shouted to the neighbors, 'Fire, come help.'

Neighbors and volunteers at ZAKA and United Hatzalah tried to enter the site, but the fire and thick smoke did not allow them to approach the burning house. Firefighters rescued some of the residents trapped in the building, but at that time the two little children were no longer alive.

The focus of the fire was in the room where the siblings had perished. "The apartment was completely burned down, the fire was strong, the chances of survival were nil," said firefighting services investigations commander Ran Shelef, who heads a team to examine the circumstances of the disaster. According to Shelef, when the call to firefighters came, at 9:08 pm, the children were no longer alive.