ORANGE, N.J. (AP) — Authorities in New Jersey say a fire that erupted early Monday has killed three people. Family members of the victims say they were a father and his two young sons.
Katherine Carter, a spokeswoman for the Essex County Prosecutor's Office, said the victims' names and their causes of death will be released after autopsies are completed and family members have been notified. Carter said her office is continuing to investigate the blaze.
Family member Iminah May told The Associated Press that about 10 people lived in the home in Orange and everyone made it out except for her uncle and his 2- and 8-year-old sons.
The Essex County coroner's office referred calls to the state attorney general's office, which referred calls back to the county prosecutor's office.
May lives in Newark, about 5 miles from Orange, and rushed to the scene after getting calls from family members at about 5:30 a.m. She said the boys' mother was badly burned in the blaze and is being treated in the intensive care unit of a hospital.
May declined to speculate on a possible cause of the fire.
Another family member, Quadirah May, said she was in the house when the fire erupted at around 5 a.m., and she ran out with two of her children.
The neighborhood in which the fire occurred is made up of two-story wooden homes, many with vinyl siding, that sit closely together. Family members outside the charred house could be seen throughout the day crying and embracing.
The Red Cross told WPIX TV in New York City that 21 people were displaced by the fire and 3 homes sustained damage.