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Famed Composer and Wife Die in House Fire

A famed British-Jewish composer and his wife were killed in a fire at their home in Yonkers, New York.

Ronald Senator, an 89-year-old composer, and Miriam Brickman, his 81-year-old wife who was an accomplished concert pianist, died Thursday night from injuries sustained in a three-alarm house fire, CBS New York reported.

Senator, who studied at Oxford University and became a professor at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama, was known for his piece “Holocaust Requiem – Kaddish for the Children of Terezin,” which was inspired by poems by Jewish writers Nelly Sachs and Paul Celan. He also composed works for his wife and several other eminent colleagues, such as Israeli viola player Rivka Golani.

Two others who lived in the first floor of the Yonkers home escaped without serious injuries, but the elderly couple was trapped on the second floor.

“The companies made an aggressive interior attack. They pulled them out shortly after arrival,” Yonkers Fire Department Deputy Chief Thomas Fitzpatrick said. “They tried all lifesaving efforts. They were taken to the hospital, where they succumbed to their injuries.”

Senator and Brickman, who divided their time between their Yonkers home and an apartment in London, had recently put their New York house up for sale.

Longtime neighbor Joyce Henry told CBS that the couple was “quite a legend in the area.”

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