Funeral held for 7 siblings killed in Brooklyn fire

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NEW YORK (AP) — An ultra-Orthodox Jewish community has gathered to mourn the deaths of seven siblings killed in a house fire that was believed to have been started by a hot plate.

The bodies of the children, ages 5 to 16, are to be flown to Israel for a prompt burial after Sunday’s service in New York. Their mother and sister remained hospitalized in critical condition.

State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, of Brooklyn, called the deaths “an absolute disaster.”

The children died after flames engulfed their home in Brooklyn’s Midwood neighborhood early Saturday.

Hikind says alternatives may have to be found for the practice of keeping a hot plate on for the Sabbath, a common modern method of obeying tradition prohibiting use of fire on the holy day.

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