Despite being the most populated borough in the city, Brooklyn has no burn center to treat local fire victims.
Gayle Sassoon and her 15-year-old daughter Tziporah survived the deadly blaze that killed her seven other children in Midwood Saturday, but the lack of a nearby burn unit meant both had to be taken to units in two other boroughs.
"We cannot continue to have victims who are suffering from burns and fire-related injuries transported outside the borough for care," said Borough President Eric Adams.
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Sassoon, 45, was rushed to Jacobi Medical Center's hyperbaric in the Bronx, while her daughter was taken to Staten Island University Hospital North.
The only other borough without a burn center is Queens. Manhattan has two — Harlem Hospital, as well as NewYork-Presbyterian's William Randolph Hearst Burn Center.
Last summer, two police officers caught in a high-rise fire in Coney Island were rescued before being sent to centers in Manhattan and the Bronx. Officer Dennis Guerra succumbed to his injuries while his partner Rosa
There is no estimate for how much it would cost to open a burn unit in any of Brooklyn's existing hospitals. Adams said he was committed to working with existing hospitals to open one in Kings County.
"This is clearly not rocket science. It should not take years to do because we're not building a building — it's about personnel," Adams said. "We want to do this before we leave 2015."
And while local Brooklyn hospitals have been mired in years of threatened, if not real closures, Adams said he was not worried that a hospital would not step up.
"We have hospitals that are doing well," he said, adding that nearly 30 percent of the city's fires last year occurred in Brooklyn.
In the meantime, local elected officials and leaders from the Brooklyn Jewish community said all New Yorkers should have smoke detectors installed in their homes. Adams said his office would launch a new multi-language education campaign and on-the-ground effort.
The closest smoke detector in the Sassoon home was two floors below where officials say a hotplate caught fire overnight.
Officials had no update on the conditions of the surviving Sassoon family members. Both suffered serious burns and smoke inhalation.While Tziporah reportedly woke up, Gayle remained in a medically induced coma.
Neighbors and community members mourned the seven children between the ages of 5 and 16 on Sunday.
Their names were repeated on Monday in a call for better fire safety education and the new burn unit: Yaakob, 5; Sara, 6; Moshe, 8; Yeshua, 10; Rivkah, 11; David, 12; and Eliane, 16.
Their father, Gabriel brought the children to Israel on Monday for burial.
"If anyone is unclear as to why we should do this, I can give them seven reasons," Adams said