The five fatalities of the tragic fire that occurred in a 14-story building in Recoleta are members of a well-known family of the Jewish community settled in that area of demarcation between the Recoleta and Balvanera neighborhoods, very close to the AMIA headquarters.
“This is about the Jabbaz family, made up of Ioni and Sari, and three of their children,” the Jewish News Agency (JNA) reported on its website. The victims lived on the seventh floor. The couple and nine children lived there.
The three deceased boys were identified as Rafael, Orly and Ester Jabbaz, between 5 and 7 years old, who had been transferred to the Gutiérrez hospital. The mother of the minors, Sofía Kibudi, died at the Fernández Hospital. The third victim, 20 years old, died at the Ramos Mejía Hospital, without confirmation of her identity, but rescued from the same department where the tragic fire broke out. Authorities of the Jewish community confirmed that it is another of the daughters.
Luciano Skef, president of Jevra Hatzalah Argentina, the emergency team of the Jewish community, who were the first to arrive, this morning, at the epicenter of the fire of two of the floors of the building located at Ecuador 1022, in Recoleta. “Four boys and the mother died, they are a religious family that attends a temple a few blocks from here,” Skef explains to THE NATION.
The father of the family, meanwhile, is hospitalized. He was the first to leave the apartment to try to get help, once the fire started and the smoke suffocated. But he couldn’t go back in to rescue his family because he lost control.
“With deep regret, we express our condolences to the loved ones of the people who died in the terrible fire this morning, in the building on Ecuador Street. We wish the speedy recovery of those injured in this tragedy that saddens the entire society,” said the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) on its Twitter account.
It all started at 5:45 in the apartment on the seventh floor of the building located at Ecuador 1022, according to what he told THE NATION Dolores, a witness to the tragedy.
The first call to 911 came in at 5:45 with 11 seconds. In total there were 26 calls. Four minutes later, according to sources from the Buenos Aires Ministry of Justice and Security, a cell phone from the City Police arrived. The uniformed officers requested “with priority” the collaboration of firefighters.
Between 5:49 with 23 seconds and 5:50 with 12 seconds, another two patrol cars arrived. The police personnel began with the evacuation of the building. City Firefighters arrived at the scene of the fire at 5:52 with 16 seconds.
“The fire developed on the seventh floor and moved to the eighth. It was recorded in an environment of three meters by ten meters, it covered the kitchen, three bedrooms and a bathroom in a general way”, according to police sources.
The fire also affected the living room of the apartment on the eighth floor. The rest of the environments were only affected by smoke and broken glass.
“Because of its magnitude, the Firefighters attacked with several lines simultaneously, with a hydro-elevator, in order to control it and then extinguish it,” added the sources consulted.
In total, 30 people were assisted, 11 on site and 19 were transferred in 22 ambulances to six health centers: seven to the Gutiérrez Hospital, four to the Ramos Mejía Hospital, two to the Rivadavia Hospital, three to the Fernández Hospital, two to the Hospital Elizalde and one to Durand Hospital.
In addition, three members of the City Police were preventively transferred to the Ramos Mejía Hospital, affected by smoke inhalation. They were the first to arrive at the scene and were in charge of evacuating the neighbors.
“First I want to offer my condolences to the relatives of the deceased, a very hard and difficult situation. A minute later the presence of the City Police was present, seven minutes later the Firefighters arrived and did a job as usual, giving up their lives. Congratulations once again for the commitment and dedication you show. I want to highlight the commitment of the entire emergency team, risking their lives for others and the good of the community”, said the head of the Buenos Aires Government, Horacio Rodriguez Larreta.