MONROE, Orange County (WABC) -- A couple and their young daughter are dead following a house fire in Orange County, New York.
The flames broke out just before 1 a.m. Thursday at a home on Highland Avenue in Monroe.
Firefighters arrived to find the home engulfed in flames.
Neighbors alerted them to the possibility that some people were inside the burning structure, but the heavy fire prevented crews from entering, officials said.
When the flames were extinguished, firefighters found three people inside the home who were deceased.
They are identified as 33-year-old Kalman Goldstein, his 27-year-old wife, Sarah, and their 7-year-old daughter Miriam.
They were members of the Orthodox Jewish community, originally from Brooklyn.
In keeping with Jewish custom, funerals for all three were set for Thursday afternoon in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, at the Yereim Orthodox Chapel on Broadway.
Rabbi Pesach and Chana Burston of Chabad of Orange County released the following statement:
We are truly devastated and in shock from this unimaginable tragedy. We were fortunate to meet the Goldsteins several years ago when they moved to the community, and immediately could see their love and admiration they had for their only daughter, Miriam. They asked us to help them find the right Jewish day school for Miriam, and we directed them to the Tennafly Chabad Academy. Kalman and Sarah would drive their daughter close to an hour each day to receive a Jewish education.
One of Miriam's teachers, Devorah Ita Lewis, would tell us how much Miriam loves learning the weekly Torah portion and hearing Biblical stories. We feel blessed to have known this family and deeply heartbroken by this loss. May their memories be for a blessing. We send love, prayers and strength to their families.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there have been 36 fatal fire deaths in New York State so far this year.
That number represents a year-over-year decline.
During the same time period last year - from Jan. 1 to Feb. 23, 2022 - there were 48 fire deaths.
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