Blaze rips through New Jersey home, killing 6

NEWARK, N.J. — A fast-moving fire ripped through a single-family home in New Jersey’s largest city early Sunday, killing six people, authorities said.

The blaze broke out at the three-story residence at around 4 a.m. in Newark, the Essex County Prosecutor’s office said. The fire soon spread to another residence, and both homes were destroyed.

The fire doesn’t appear to be suspicious, but the cause remains under investigation, said Thomas Fennelly, chief assistant prosecutor. Everyone in the second home managed to escape safely, he said.

Some of the victims were likely related, authorities said.

All that remained of the home Sunday afternoon was the charred frame, with piles of blackened, twisted furniture and belongings spilling out of the empty sills that once held windows. The white fence around the front of the property was still intact.

Carol Valentine sorted through smoke-damaged photographs and photo albums with charred pages on the sidewalk in front of her fiance’s home, which is next door to the residence where the fire started. Her fiance had been out of town and returned early Sunday to his home, which was already ablaze.

“He’d been delayed on planes for two days. He had gone to a graduation,” she said. “Had he not been delayed, he would have been sleeping, and he probably wouldn’t be alive.”

She said she didn’t know much about the neighbors.

A small storefront church called Tree of Life Ministries, on the other side of the home where six died, appeared undamaged. Neighbors gathered outside the home — many in their Sunday church clothes — shaking their heads at the loss of so many lives.

The Rev. Thomas Ellis lives in the neighborhood and stopped by to offer his support.

“For the city of Newark, this is a sad and tragic day,” he said. “The community is hurting.”

More in Local News

Snohomish mayoral candidates have very little in common

Karen Guzak and John Kartak are vying for the new position.

Second teen charged after $1 million in school vandalism

Two teens now face felony charges for damage at two schools in Darrington last summer.

Charged in stabbing, his long list of felonies could grow

The Arlington man is accused of attacking a man who interrupted a possible burglary in Everett.

A potentially transformative council election in Snohomish

As the city adopts a new form of government, many new faces are seeking office.

Mill Creek hires Gina Hortillosa as public works director

Hortillosa will be responsible for creating strategic infrastructure plans to promote economic growth.

1 shot dead, another wounded in apparent Everett robbery

There are indications the victims might have known the shooter, who apparently fled in a vehicle.

Man arrested in Monroe Walmart robbery; second suspect flees

The pair fled in a stolen Mitsubishi Lancer with a distinctive green spray paint job.

Fugitive surrenders after missing for more than a year

A former Darrington man who absconded after serving time in… Continue reading

Most Read