A fire that roared through a Brooklyn home on the sixth night of Hanukkah, killing a mother and her three young children, was touched off by the family's menorah, fire officials said.
The 40-year-old mother, Aliza Azam, and her two sons, aged 11 and 7, and a daughter, 3, did not escape.
The fire broke out just before 2:30 a.m. on East 14th Street in Sheepshead Bay.
Fire investigators believe that a lit menorah started the fire.
Five firefighters suffered minor injuries battling the fire. The flames spread quickly, traveling up the stairs to the second floor and continuing up to the attic where two bedrooms were located, according to the New York Times.
"Tragedy strikes at this time of year, and as I've said before, this time of year makes it that much sadder", FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro explained.
The cause of the fire was not immediately clear.
Two firefighters were among the injured but they are expected to recover
"So often, tragedy strikes at this time of year, and the holidays make it that much more hard because our communities should be celebrating, not mourning", Nigro said in a statement, urging people to be safe. The children's father and two teenagers were hospitalized in critical condition.
"There were huge flares shooting out the front of the house", he said.
Firefighters inspect the scene of a fatal fire, Monday, Dec. 18, 2017, in the Brooklyn borough of NY.
Nigro praised the father, who got two teenaged children out of the house before he heroically went back into the raging blaze in hopes of saving his wife and other kids.
"They're a good family".
A rabbi who arrived at the fire site Monday morning told the New York Daily News that the injured dad was doing "better".
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