EAST ORANGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Five people are dead, including a six-week-old baby, following a house fire in East Orange.

The Essex County prosecutor’s office said the fire started at about 6 a.m. in a three-story, single-family house at 16 N. 17th St., a few blocks north of Route 280.

The victims were identified as Alice Horton, 79, Randy Horton, 56, Ronnie Horton, 60, Breiona Love, 20, and Love’s 6-week-old Lanore Carter-Love.

“It’s very challenging, very challenging,” said Deputy Fire Chief Christopher Weiss. “A good number of our members are very upset.”

Relatives stood on the street comforting each other as they dealt with their grief.

“I lost my mother-in-law; I lost my niece; I lost my cousin,” one woman told 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern. “This ain’t right.”

Witnesses said it was an intense fire, shooting out of the top floor, WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported.

Driven by high winds, the blaze spread to two neighboring houses, which partially collapsed, making the search more difficult, Stern reported.

All of the homes were wood-framed structures, CBS2’s Matt Kozar reported.

“This neighborhood in East Orange is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city,” Weiss said. “Most of the homes were built in the late 1800s, so historically, we’ve had a lot of serious fires here.”

Neighbor Deneil McCleld lives across the street with her family. She said her father ran out and tried to help firefighters rescue the trapped neighbors, but they wouldn’t let him because of the danger.

“They didn’t see it coming, so they lost their lives in such a tragic way,” McCleld said. “I want to cry. It’s so sad.”

Weiss described the lone bright spot of the morning: rescuing a girl who climbed from a window to the roof.

“She had heavy smoke and fire starting to come from the windows in her area, but fortunately we were able to get to her,” Weiss said.

By Sunday evening, crews were tearing down what was left of the gutted homes using a backhoe.

There is no official word yet on the cause, but sources told CBS2 it does not appear to be suspicious, Kozar reported.

The Red Cross said they’re assisting the two other families displaced by the fire.

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