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Tragedy struck our community early Monday morning, Dec. 18th, when a fast-moving fire struck the Azan home at 1946 East 14th Street.

The mother, Aliza Azan, and three of her children, Moshe, 11, Yitzhak, 7, and Henrietta, 3, perished in the blaze.  The father, Yossi Azan, his 16-year-old Daughter Shilat, and 15-year-old son Daniel, remain in critical condition on life support in Staten Island University Hospital Burn Unit. One remaining son and his cousin escaped without injuries. 

Yossi Azan was critically injured while saving two of his six children from the fire.

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said that Yossi likely saved two of his children’s lives – while risking his own.

Yossi had returned repeatedly to the home despite the inferno inside to rescue two of his children. He also attempted to rescue his wife and other children, but was unable to reach them. Yossi suffered severe burns and smoke inhalation during his heroic rescue efforts.

“This is a terrible tragedy, not just for this community, but for our city,” Nigro said. “This time of year, when these things strike, it just tears your heart out for the family,” Nigro said. “Our city grieves with this family today.”

Thousands of People Attend Funeral in Israel

On Wednesday, December 20th, thousands of people convened in the central Israeli city of Holon to attend the funeral of the four members of the Azan family who perished in the Brooklyn house fire.

The first funeral procession took place Monday, Dec. 18th in Brooklyn just hours after the deadly fire, with thousands of mourners from the community accompanying the bodies - in their symbolic funeral that took place before they were flown to Israel to be buried.

Their bodies were flown to Israel and they were laid to rest in Holon’s municipal cemetery.

Both parents were born and raised in Israel. Special arrangements were made by Israel’s Religious Services Minister David Azoulay to ensure that the victims could be buried in Holon. 

Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef and  Interior Minister Aryeh Deri  both attended the funeral.

“When the Temple existed, the public would bring sacrifices, but the public paid for these sacrifices and some were made for their people. For our sins, when there is no Temple, Gd takes pure souls as a public sacrifice,” Aryeh Deri said at the funeral.

At the time of the writing of this article, Yossi Azan was just informed of the tragedy that has befallen his family. Hospital staff had forbidden those visiting to inform him of the scope of the tragedy due to his fragile medical state.

The three Azan family members who were hospitalized after the fire – Yossi, Shilat, and Daniel – are being treated at Staten Island University Hospital. They are being kept sedated by doctors in order to help them recover from the disaster.

How We Can Help

As many fellow community members are asking how can we help, we ask that first and foremost you pray for the family. Please say Tehillim for Shilat Bat Louza Aliza, Daniel Ben Louza Aliza, Avraham Ben Louza Aliza, and Yosef Ben Ahuva Masuda - the survivors of the tragedy who are still currently in critical condition.

In addition, the family is going to need assistance in obtaining a new home, medical care, and many other anticipated expenses. Without any source of income for the foreseeable future, the goal of this campaign is to help ease their burden as much as possible. Please see sidebar for donation information.

The Azan Family Needs Our Support

In light of this tragedy, our community has come together in order to help the Azan family. Rabbi David Ozeri of the Yad Yosef Congregation started a fundraiser on Dec. 19, one day after the fire took place. The campaign's stated aim is to provide financial assistance for the family's medical care and to help them get a new home. All funds collected from this campaign will be deposited directly to Yad Yosef Fund and will be distributed  accordingly by Rabbi David Ozeri personally. 

If you would like to donate, visit gofundme.com/official-azan-family-fire-fund.

All funds collected from this campaign will be deposited directly to Yad Yosef Fund and will be distributed  accordingly by Rabbi David Ozeri personally. 

For further information, please call Yad Yosef at 718-677-3707.