A Midwood family is seeking support from their community after their 11-month-old son was fatally burned by a defective radiator in their apartment last week.
The family — who have remained anonymous, though the New York Post identified the baby’s parents as Alexander and Bessie Kuravsky — are hoping to raise $150,000 through GoFundMe as they work through the aftermath of their son Benjamin’s death.
“Funds will go to support relocation, childcare, and counseling costs as the parents mourn the loss of their beloved son,” fundraiser organizer Bassy Kimelfeld wrote.
Police were called to the family’s apartment on East 14th Street early on the morning of Jan. 19. When they arrived on the scene, they found Benjamin badly burned, unconscious and unresponsive in his bedroom, which was filled with steam. Paramedics rushed the baby to Maimonides Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
On the GoFundMe page, Kimelfeld described the incident as a “sudden radiator steam explosion,” in Benjamin’s bedroom, where he was asleep in his crib.
“Benjamin was a beacon of light, who loved music, dancing, trying new foods, and smiling at everyone he met,” Kimelfeld wrote.
Department of Buildings inspectors later found that a critical connection on the radiator was broken and discharging steam into the room. Per city records, the department issued a partial vacate order for the family’s unit, citing a corroded radiator pipe and damage to the floor and ceiling, and issued a Cease Use order for the building’s boiler.
Inspectors also found an illegally-build laundry room and electrical hookups in the basement of the building at 1, according to DOB documents, and along with rotted wood supports.
City records show the building has amassed 57 open violations with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development since 2010 for issues including mold, missing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, water leaks, and broken self closing doors. Before the Jan. 19 tragedy, no complaints or violations had been reported to the DOB since 2016, said department spox David Maggiotto, when a resident called 311 because the building did not have supports for window air conditioners.
The building’s owner, Ruvin Itskovich, appears to own at least two other apartment buildings in Brooklyn. Brooklyn Paper was not immediately able to reach Itskovich for comment.