In the aftermath of an apartment fire in Williamsburg during Passover that killed three children, the New York Board of Rabbis said it will work with the Jewish Community Relations Council and the New York Fire Department to provide tips about preventing fires from candlelighting and cooking, and ensuring that working smoke detectors are in place. In addition to screening a video in classrooms, another idea under consideration is sending home packets of batteries with schoolchildren as a reminder to check smoke alarms.
"We are looking at a comprehensive program to see what works best in the community," said Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, president of the New York Board of Rabbis and the FDNY’s Jewish chaplain. Also involved in the education effort is Rep. Edolphus Towns, whose district includes Williamsburg.
The children in the Williamsburg fire on April 26 died from smoke inhalation.
Meanwhile, the family affected by the fire told police someone stole from the apartment more than $13,000 in jewelry owned by a daughter, Suri Matyas, who was engaged to be married and was injured while escaping the blaze.