Thursday, February 23, 2012
5 Killed In N.J. House Fire
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ -- Four children and their grandmother were killed Thursday in a New Jersey house fire, according to reports.
The children -- aged between two and 12 -- died after the large two-family home in South Plainfield was engulfed by flames shortly after 3:00 a.m.
The grandmother was identified by a relative living in Augusta, Ga., as 62-year-old Ann Jefferson, according to The Star-Ledger.
An eight-year-old boy, who escaped the fire along with his mother, Natalie Jefferson, his 15-year-old brother and baby sister, was taken to St. Barnabas Medical Center with serious burns, according to 1010 WINS. He is listed in critical condition.
Natalie Jefferson, who lived in the 130-year-old home with her seven children and their grandmother, also was hospitalized along with the two other children.
The 15-year-old boy, who reportedly rescued his baby sister, had to be restrained by firefighters as he attempted to re-enter the burning home in an attempt to save his trapped siblings.
A neighbor told 1010 WINS she heard a child screaming from the second floor of the home as firefighters worked to bring the fire under control.
Fire crews and volunteer firefighters managed to contain the flames by 6:00 a.m.
"It was just really ranging from one side," one neighbor told 1010 WINS. "They (firefighters) were trying to fight it, but it was just really cranking up."
"The flames were enormous. They were coming out of the top of the house," another neighbor told the Star-Ledger. "The fire just kept going for a couple of hours."
Two volunteer firefighters were treated for minor injuries sustained in an accident en route to the blaze, according to the paper.
The cause of the fire was not known and an investigation was underway.