A New Jersey mother attempting to escape her burning home died just moments after she handed her infant son to a Good Samaritan who climbed up a ledge to reach the child.
The woman's three other children and her sister were hospitalized in critical condition after being hurt in the blaze that broke out early Saturday in Jamesburg.
Police Lt. James Craporotta says 28-year-old Jaimie Lowenberg apparently leaped or fell from the home's third floor. The home is just a few feet from the Jamesburg Fire Department, but authorities say the fast-moving blaze quickly destroyed the home.
The 10-month-old boy apparently escaped serious injury, but the other children were hospitalized in St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston. Lowenberg's sister was taken to Raritan Bay Medical Center's Old Bridge Division.
Further details on their condition were not disclosed early Saturday night. Authorities say the blaze was initially reported just before 12:10 a.m. by several neighbors.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but is not believed to be suspicious. Besides the police probe, the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office will also investigate the blaze.
Lowenberg's death came five days before her third wedding anniversary. Her husband, George, told MyCentralJersey.com that he was in Virginia when the fire occurred and rushed back home after being notified by authorities.
"Life is very short ... She was the love of my life," he said of his wife, a high school English teacher in Hillside. "She was a remarkable person ... She loved working with kids and wanted to make a difference in the world."
Authorities also did not know the name of the Good Samaritan who rescued the child, but were hoping to speak with the man.
"Thank god he was there," Craporotta said. "He made a difference, I think. Most people don't step in, but he did and he risked his life, to try to help them."