BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — An elderly couple is dead and their home health aide is critically injured following an early morning fire at a home in Berkeley Heights.

The blaze broke out around 12:45 a.m. Thursday at house on Orion Road.

Responding officers, who were first on the scene, saw heavy smoke billowing from the home and were told by neighbors that two elderly residents were inside.

Police tried to force their way into the house, but were unable to get inside because of the smoke and heat.

When firefighters arrived, they found an elderly woman and the female home health aide on the first floor while an elderly man was found on the second floor.

All three victims were given CPR at the scene before being taken to the hospital, where the elderly couple died, police said. The aide is in critical condition.

“They kind of kept to themselves in the past few years, but they were really nice people,” a neighbor told 1010 WINS’ Samantha Liebman. “They really were.”

It took firefighters nearly an hour to get the blaze under control. Two firefighters were also hurt, one with a laceration to the hand and the other for smoke inhalation, and were taken to the hospital for an evaluation.

By daybreak, crews were boarding up the house as family members gathered and could be seen consoling each other.

The names of the victims have not been released.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but police said it does not appear suspicious.


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