LAKEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — An early-morning house fire claimed the life of a 6-year-old boy and critically injured his 9-year-old brother, officials said.
The children’s parents were being treated for burns and smoke inhalation, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported. A third child, who is 2 years old, suffered smoke inhalation.
No names have been released.
The fire broke out at around 2 a.m. Friday in the home at 644 Stirling Ave.
Volunteer firefighter Tim Millheiser said his heart skipped a beat when his pager went off and he realized the location of the blaze was right across the street.
He rushed over with a ladder, trying in vain to rescue the 6-year-old boy who was trapped on the second floor, but the flames were too intense and forced back two police officers that had first responded to the scene.
The officers then tried to get in using a ladder.
“You can only do a certain amount because you make yourself a victim if you go inside,” Millheiser said. “It’s so sad.”
Neighbors said they watched in horror as rescuers tried to get into the home.
“When we got up the flames were shooting out of the roof over the kitchen window,” Eileen Hill said.
“They couldn’t find no way to get in ’cause fire was all over,” Andre Dean said.
Two police officers and two emergency medical technicians were also treated at a hospital, officials said. The father of the children was also burned.
Even before police officers tried to get into the house, one neighbor said the children’s father tried to get in to save the child.
Investigators said grease behind the kitchen stove caused the fire, CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported.
Police said firefighters were delayed getting to the house because they couldn’t understanding the mother, who was frantic when she called 911.
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