Deadly NJ Fire Sparked by Altered Space Heater

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Firefighters say they found the victims huddled together in the bathroom of their apartment in Flanders. Brian Thompson reports. (Published Monday, Feb 18, 2013)

    The fast-spreading fire that killed a man and his young stepson in New Jersey apparently started from a space heater that had improperly altered wiring, authorities said Tuesday. 

    Hesham Moustafa, 52, and Cristiano Bonner, 7, were found huddled inside the bathroom of their home in Flanders, N.J. when firefighters responded early Monday, officials said. The blaze was so intense firefighters could not see inside and had to use a fan to push smoke out of the building. 

    Prosecutors have found that space heaters were being used to warm the apartment, and one of the heaters placed near the apartment's side door had badly manipulated wiring. That sparked a fire in the foyer area, and continued to spread because there were no working smoke detectors.

    Moustafa's 9-year-old stepdaughter, Bianca Bonner, was also rescued from the burning home and revived by emergency responders. She remains in critical condition. Moustafa's wife and older 19-year-old daughter were not hurt in the fire. 

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