The Beitar community was shaken to its core on Tuesday night, as an uncontrollable blaze ripped through the home of the Ginsburg family, claiming the lives of 4-year-old Efrat, and 2-year-old Tzvi. Though the cause of the fire is still unknown, one witness told Y-Net News that a nightlight had exploded, and fallen onto a bed.
Chilling testimonials from neighbors and emergency responders paint a gruesome scene:
“We smelled thick smoke, opened the door, and saw that the smoke was coming from the apartment next door,” neighbor Itzik told Channel 2 News. “My wife took one of the girls out and brought her upstairs. Another neighbor managed to enter despite the heavy smoke and rescued two other children.”
The surviving Ginsburg children very well may owe their lives to the fact that many neighbors stepped into action while waiting for firefighters to arrive. One Hatzolah volunteer Chaim Rotter told Channel 2 news that firefighters “arrived relatively late, and were not prepared enough for the event.”
“If not for the civilians and volunteers who came to the site,” said Rotter, “more people would have been killed here.”
As the flames grew, and families evacuated the building, brave neighbors plunged into the smoke-filled home and pulled 3 of the 5 Ginsburg children to safety. Other children from the building were evacuated as well.
Rescue attempts however, though heroic, were not entirely successful. By the time it became clear that two young children were still in the blaze, the apartment was impossible to enter.
As the sun rose on a new day Wednesday morning, the Ginsburg family found themselves in a living nightmare: Their belongings in ash, their home destroyed, and their precious children lost forever. It is a tragedy which will leave an indelible mark on all who witnessed it.
“Funds are being collected here,” reads a Chesed Fund page opened on the family’s behalf, “so that in this time of shock and tragedy, they need not worry themselves with where they will sleep or how they will eat their next meal. Perhaps we can even aid them in rebuilding their home, and replacing their belongings.”
“Please join us,” the text urges, “in giving some security to a broken family who has lived every parent’s worst nightmare.”
Hashem should comfort them during this horrific time.