What to Know
Four children died and at least a dozen other people were taken to hospitals as a five-alarm fire consumed a multi-family home in New Jersey[hhmc]
Chopper 4 footage showed a heavily charred and damage home; smoke billowed from the roof and sides of the building[hhmc]
People were seen gathering on the roofs of nearby buildings to watch the major emergency response unfold; a cause is under investigation[hhmc]
The inferno that devoured a multi-family home in New Jersey last week, killing two young brothers and their 5-year-old cousin, has claimed the life of a fourth child — a 13-year-old boy, the prosecutor's office tweeted Monday.
The identity of the latest victim in Friday's house fire in Union City hasn't been released. The first two victims — a 5-year-old girl and her cousin, a 2-year-old boy, were pronounced dead shortly after the five-alarm blaze broke out at the home on 25th Street. The boy's 7-year-old brother, who was critically injured at first, died later in the evening.
A dozen other people, including more young children and several firefighters, were hospitalized. At least one other child and one woman remained in critical condition through the weekend. Eight firefighters were also taken to local hospitals to be treated for minor injuries. A cause is under investigation.
Witnesses described a horrifying scene.
"They were all unconscious, one child's face was burned," said Eddei Miranda.
Relatives identified the first two victims as Mailyn Wood, 5, and Jason Gonzalez, 2, who were cousins. The name of Jason's 7-year-old brother hasn't been released.
Eudes Hernandez, a friend of a family that lost a child, was at the corner of the street when he says he saw smoke and fire. He ran to the flaming building and tried desperately to help get everyone out. He said he tried to knock on the doors, but he couldn't even see anything because of all the smoke.
"I feel so bad for them. I knock on the door, try to get out everybody," he said.
Chopper 4 footage showed an entire side of the multi-story building charred black from heavy fire. The windows looked like smoldering panels of charcoal as smoke billowed from the roof and sides of the house. People were seen gathering on the roofs of neighboring buildings to watch the response unfold.
"It is a very difficult day for Union City," said Mayor Brian P. Stack. "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."
The Red Cross is providing temporary assistance for displaced residents.