Borough President Adams calls for dedicated burn unit in Brooklyn after Midwood fire

Beep: Brooklyn needs a burn unit

The Brooklyn Paper
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The two survivors of the Midwood fire that killed seven children on Saturday had to be sent out-of-borough to have their burns treated because Brooklyn doesn’t have a burn center, a situation Borough President Adams says he will remedy.

Adams called for the creation of a dedicated burn unit in the borough on Monday, saying he will use money from his discretionary fund to help pay for the creation of the unit in an existing Brooklyn hospital, which would cut down on the time and expense of building an entirely new center.

“We should not leave 2015 without a burn center in Brooklyn,” Adams told reporters after the press conference.

Brooklyn is one of only two boroughs, along with Queens, to lack such a facility. The two survivors of the blaze, Gayle Sassoon and her daughter Siporah, were taken separately to burn units in the Bronx and Staten Island. Both remain in critical condition, officials said.

Adams and other community leaders at the press conference also implored Brooklynites to observe proper fire safety in the wake of the tragedy, while fire officials handed out free smoke detectors and pamphlets aimed specifically at the Orthodox Jewish community.

The Midwood fire began early on Saturday morning after a malfunctioning hot plate, used to warm food on the Sabbath when cooking is not allowed, caught fire and spread to the rest of the house. There were no smoke detectors on the first or second floors, allowing the flames to remain undetected until it was too late, officials said.

Councilman David Greenfield (D–Flatbush), who follows Orthodox tradition, suggested that families use a timer to make sure a hot plate is only on for the time that it is needed and avoid leaving devices unattended. He said that people don’t have to choose between following the tenets of their faith and their own safety.

“The most important message we can have is to spend 10 bucks per floor and make sure you have a smoke detector,” he said.

A somber Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D–Midwood) shared his own near brush with tragedy, describing the time a smoke detector alerted him to an electrical fire that he said could have consumed his family had it gone unnoticed.

“That annoying sound that might wake you up in the morning is probably the reason why my family is here today,” he said.

Adams, Deutsch, and others will hold a community fire safety training in Midwood tonight.

Community safety training at PS 193 [2515 Avenue L between Bedford Avenue and East 26th Street in Midwood, (718) 368–9176]. March 24 at 7 pm.

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at or by calling (718) 260–4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Omar from Bushwick says:
How much does it cost to set up a burn unit? Somehow I doubt Eric Adams has enough money for it.
March 24, 2015, 1:28 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
March 24, 2015, 4:19 pm
PanderingPols from KneeJerkReaction says:
Pandering for the Jewish vote. Although it would be nice to have one in BK, how about upgrading the existing trauma centers in BK hospitals so someone that gets hit by a car downtown Brooklyn doesn't have to be driven miles away when there is a hospital around the corner. Like I said before if you own a million dollar home you should be able to afford a $20 detector.
March 24, 2015, 5:30 pm
Mom from Clinton Hill says:
It would also be nice if the FDNY Bureau of Fire Prevention actually did their job and would inspect buildings for working smoke alarms, hallway storage, etc. and write citations.
March 24, 2015, 7:40 pm
Charles from Bklyn says:
A good issue for the borough president to take on for a population of 4 1/2 million.
March 25, 2015, 8:48 am
Me from Bay Ridge says:
Brooklyn Population Info: According to the US Government's Census Bureau 2010 Census Data:

2,504,700 people live in Brooklyn, New York
March 25, 2015, 9:59 am
Cher says:
Timers for the electrical outlets is what the Hasids need to use for their hot plates. You will never get them to change their Stone Age interpretation of holy law rules on Sabbath. It's so sad that an 8 dollar device would have saved these poor children's lives. Certainly technology could be a stopgap for senseless death in their community.
March 25, 2015, 12:41 pm
Ken from Greenpoint says:
Cher: before you post do some real homework,
were can you get this device for 8 dollar maybe at a Yard sale a used one?
March 25, 2015, 1:27 pm
ty from pps says:
2 or $9.
March 25, 2015, 7:37 pm
Charles from Bklyn says:
I stand corrected. Brooklyn's population is approximately 2.5 million. Of course, that doesn't change the substance of my statement that a large population needs close access to a burn unit.
March 26, 2015, 9:02 am
Michelle from Sunset Park says:
So is it safe to assume all you noodleheads who are going after each other and that community are in favor of a burn unit? Or are you opposed? Or are you just using this story to rant at each other?
March 26, 2015, 10:20 am
Me from Bay Ridge says:
I've been told there's no children's hospital in Brooklyn either.
March 26, 2015, 1:23 pm
John from Newkirk Plaza says:
And Brooklyn is also short of parks and museums.
March 26, 2015, 9:43 pm

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