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Community Seeks Help For Family After Mom, Son Die In N.J. Fire

Ridgefield Fire

A woman and her 14-year-son were killed Saturday in a fire at this house in Ridgefield, N.J. (Credit: CBS 2)

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RIDGEFIELD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A community is asking for help for a family, after a devastating fire in Ridgefield, N.J., left a mother and her 14-year-old son dead.

As CBS 2’s Amy Dardashtian reported, the fire broke out around 5 a.m. Saturday in the fire at 926 Linden Ave. in Ridgefield. On Sunday, Sal Scibetta visited his brother, Ben Scibetta, recovering at Holy Name Hospital.

Ben was just one half of a couple known as Ben and Jerry.

“They loved each other so much,” Sal Scibetta said.

Jerry was Jeralyn Scibetta, 55, a nurse, Ben’s wife and a mother of three. She lost her life in the fire, along with their son, Daniel Scibetta, 14.

“Amazing woman, always laughing no matter what,” said family friend Donna Rubino.

Rubino knelt outside the Scibettas’ home Sunday. She started at the burned out scraps from Ben Scibetta’s comic book collection – a lifelong hobby.

Officials said Ben Scibetta almost got son Daniel out. But fire vented the windows.

Ben Scibetta and his older son, John, along with John’s girlfriend, jumped out. But Scibetta’s youngest son and wife succumbed to the thick clouds of smoke.

The fire was long extinguished by Sunday night, but the screams that came from the house still haunted neighbors on the block. The vicious fire not only claimed two precious lives, but everything the family owned.

On Sunday, a local church was asking for donations.

“Gift cards to Kohl’s or Target are going to be accepted, and food gift cards,” said the Rev. Mariano Gargiulo of St. James Episcopal Church.

St. James has collected a small pile of donations. Friends said the family needs much more.

“They lost everything. Everything They’ve got to rebuild everything,” said family friend John Saputo.

“Bring food, clothes, donations – anything, anything they can think of is fine,” said Sal Scibetta. “They are angels – that’s what I’ll call them, because that’s what they were.”

The last post on Jeralyn Scibetta’s Facebook page was a message that angels were about to send her a blessing. Now, a friend has written, “I pray the angels have you and Danny wrapped under their wings.”

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