Friends and family of an elderly couple who along with two of their sons were killed in a Jersey City fire expressed their heartache and disbelief Friday, a day after the mayor said firefighters may have been delayed by confusion over the address.
The bodies of 81-year-old Bishop William Pickett, 80-year-old Eula Mae Pickett, 52-year-old Thomas Pickett and 49-year-old Curtis Pickett were found several hours after the fire at the four-family home on Grant Avenue was extinguished.
The blaze broke out at about 1 a.m. Thursday, firefighters said, and quickly spread. Jersey City Fire Chief Darren Rivers said the fire was brought under control shortly before 7 a.m.
The victims had attended a church service the night before at the House of David Pentecostal, which Bishop Pickett held for years in his basement.
"They were good parents," said Rosalie Anglin, the Pickett's daughter. "A lot of love in their hearts."
Mayor Steven Fulop said the response time for the fire was approximately double the usual three to four minutes, and that confusion about the street name may have contributed to the delay.
Jersey City along with Hudson County Prosecutors has launched an investigation. The cause of the fire also remains unknown.
Nathan Cody, a neighbor of the family, said Bishop Pickett was a pillar in the community who would be sorely missed.
"He's a grandfather to the community," said Cody. "Everybody knows him as grandfather to the community."