SOMERVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — An early morning house fire in Somerville took the life of a child and injured three others.
As CBS 2’s Nick Caloway reports, Hope Carfora stopped by the burned out house of the Brizuela family on Eastern Avenue, dropping some flowers, and paying tribute after a tragedy.READ MORE: Sources: Suspect In Shooting Of NYPD Officers Had Multiple Weapons, Including AR-15 With 20 Rounds Hidden Under Mattress
“My friend lived in that house. And she was a really good friend,” Carfora said.
It was just after 2 a.m. when the two story house caught fire. Neighbors described the chaotic scene as flames ripped through the building.
“Huge flames coming out of the house. Very scary. Tons of fire trucks,” said neighbor Sarah Pearson.
“I heard somebody screaming. I looked out my back window and I saw the house fully involved, police lights coming down the street. Walked out my back door. As soon as I go out my back door, I saw a working structure fire,” said neighbor Timothy Mason.
Four people were inside – two adults and two kids. Three of them escaped by breaking a second story window and jumping.
The youngest resident of the house, 8-year-old Cecilia, was trapped in a rear bedroom. Firefighters made every effort to get to Cecilia, but the flames and extreme heat kept them back. By the time they got in, it was too late. The little girl was pronounced dead at the scene.READ MORE: Mayor Eric Adams' Plan To Address Gun Violence Includes Return Of Plainclothes Police Unit
“It’s sadness, right? I mean there’s a loss of a life. That’s somebody’s family. Their belongings, everything, everything is gone. And you can’t replace a life. It’s nauseating, really,” said neighbor Kate Pratt.
“I mean it’s horrible. We see the kids walking to school every day,” Pearson said.
The two adults who escaped are expected to be OK. Cecilia’s 9-year-old sister was injured during the fire. She was in critical condition.
For the Carfora family, it’s a brutal reminder of just how fragile life can be.
“It’s hard. It’s hard. You want to help. But you don’t know how to help. So you just leave flowers, and do good intentions and worry about your own children, and hug them at night. That’s all,” Gori Carfora said.
Once the ashes settled, fire investigators spent hours combing through the rubble.
The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office said the cause of that fire is still under investigation.MORE NEWS: New York State Supreme Court Strikes Down Gov. Kathy Hochul's Mask Mandate
CBS2’s Nick Caloway contributed to this report. Editor’s note: This story was first published on Dec. 10.