Children's Book Author and 8-Year-Old Son Killed in New Jersey Fire

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A children's book author and her 8-year-old son were killed in a fire at their New Jersey home late Sunday, authorities said. Jen Maxfield reports. (Published Monday, Apr 14, 2014)

    A children's book author and her 8-year-old son were killed in a fire at their New Jersey home late Sunday, authorities said.

    Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray and Orange Police Director Hakim Sims said a passerby noticed the burning home on Berkeley Avenue in Orange at about 11:30 p.m., and tried banging on the door. 

    He got no response, and called 911.

    Firefighters found Tanji Dewberry, 37, and her son, Evan Soler, in the home.

    "It happened so fast, I don't know what happened," said neighbor Carol Hughes.

    Evan was in second grade and was the inspiration behind his mother's first book, "Oh Fiddlesticks!" which she said drew on the family's experiences from his ADHD diagnosis.

    "She wanted to write a book about dealing with anger and how children can express their emotions, and she wrote this wonderful book," said Kenna Baudin, a friend.

    Dewberry also worked on Wall Street, according to a website for the book.

    The cause of the fire is under investigation.

    --Jen Maxfield contributed to this story