UNION CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Three children were killed and several other people were injured when a fire ripped through a home Friday morning in Union City, New Jersey.
The flames broke out just before 9 a.m. Friday at the multi-family home on 25th Street.
“The fire went to five alarms with extensive heat, our firefighters operated judiciously, and we got the fire under control,” North Hudson Deputy Fire Chief Nick Gazzillo said.
Two-year-old Jason Gonzalez and his 7-year-old brother Christian were killed in the blaze, along with their 5-year-old cousin Mailyn Wood, CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported. Late Friday night, officials said two other children remained in critical condition, as well as one woman. A man was listed in stable condition.
Two dozen firefighters were injured — six were hospitalized and 18 were treated on the scene.
“I just came close to the building, I tried to help them. You know, like knock on the doors… I went to the second floor, tried to help them to people came out,” neighbor Eudes Hernandez told CBS2’s Clark Fouraker.
“It was two ladders. Once they climbed up and they went inside, everybody just started screaming frantically,” said neighbor Eddie Miranda. “All of them were unconscious. One’s face appeared to be burned. They took out a lady, her hair was burned, both of her arms were burned.”
The Red Cross is assisting the roughly 30 people displaced by the fire.
“I am heart broken,” Union City Mayor Brian P. Stack said in a statement. “It is a very difficult day for Union City. I continue to pray for the victims and their families and offer any resources I can to assist them. I am extremely thankful for the efforts of our first responders who gave their all under extremely difficult circumstances.”
“I wish I could’ve done something,” said Miranda. “My heart goes out to the family, my heart goes out to the first responders. They did everything they could, but I guess it’s unfortunate that time wasn’t on their side.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation.