SECAUCUS, N.J. (CBS 2) — Investigators spent Sunday night searching for the cause of a deadly fire in New Jersey.
Flames shot through a condominium complex in Secaucus, turning one woman’s apartment into a death trap, reports CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.
“Really high over the roof – like 15 feet – flames everywhere,” witness Patrick Collins said.
Flames poured out of every window of the woman’s condo unit at 201 Sandcastle Key in Harmon Cove.
The blaze started at about 5:30 p.m., and for that 52-year-old woman, there was no escape.
Neighbors came out of their homes to see the building engulfed in flames – and then, they saw that woman in the second-story window.
“Her upper body was out the window, and her legs were inside the unit,” neighbor Andry Argyrides said. “A short time later, she fell to the ground.”
Argyrides said she was in a state of shock as she documented much of what happened next with her cell phone camera, watching as firefighters battled strong winds and kept flames from spreading to her building right next door.
She said the fire victim lived alone and was often out of town.
Collins was there when an elderly man, who lived in another unit in the same building, was carried out by paramedics.
“He was getting pulled out, and they asked him how he was,” Collins said. “He kept saying he didn’t want to go to the hospital, but I guess they made him go.”
Residents of the waterfront development said firefighters on the scene were fast-acting heroes.
“They saved our neighborhood, had the fire jumped from building to building,” neighbor Virginia Boomer said. “Thank God they got it under control.”
As the residents mourn the loss of their neighbor, they said they hope fire investigators will soon uncover the exact cause of the ferocious, and fatal, fire.