Gabriel Sassoon calls the names of each of the seven children he lost in a devastating house fire. The bodies of young victims were covered in shrouds Monday, laid to rest in Israel as grief-stricken mourners pay respects by the hundreds. It was a somber scene thousands of miles away, as local city and community leaders here in New York urge local residents to learn from the tragedy.
“This one device is the difference between life and death,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
Investigators say the fire in the Sassoon home was caused by a malfunctioning hot plate left on for Sabbath dinner overnight.
“There were no working smoke detectors on the first or second floor,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro. “There should be on each level at a minimum and one outside of each sleeping area.”
Now, officials are launching a fire safety education push in this community—stressing the importance of smoke detectors in the home.
The FDNY released a new public service announcement Monday with the simple message that smoke alarms save lives, as Borough President Eric Adams takes another measure by calling for a burn unit to be built in Brooklyn.
“We cannot continue to have victims who are suffering from burns and fire related injuries transported outside the borough for care,” Adams said.
Gayle Sassoon and her only surviving daughter, Sipporah, are being treated at burn units on Staten Island and in the Bronx. Adams says 30 percent of fires in the city happen in — and after the tragedy that struck the Sassoon family, Adams says it shows Brooklyn should have emergency resources of its own.
“Anyone that is involved with medical emergencies realizes that it’s all about timing,” Adams said.
Adams says that new burn unit would not be a new construction project but instead installed in a hospital already in the borough, something he hopes will be accomplished by the end of the year.