A 6-year-old boy died and his 8-year-old brother was critically injured in a fire that erupted in their family's Ocean County home early Friday, police said.
Police responding to the 2 a.m. blaze in Lakewood, N.J., found the mother outside, cradling her 2-year-old son in her arms and crying into a cell phone. Her injured 8-year-old son was lying on the front lawn and her husband was trying to get back into the house to rescue their 6-year-old son, who was trapped on the second floor, authorities said.
Police tried several times to get to the trapped boy, but the flames batting them back. Firefighters arrived shortly after police and doused the flames, but the 6-year-old boy could not be saved. He was pronounced dead inside the home.
The other children were taken to a nearby hospital, where the 8-year-old boy was listed in critical condition with both external and internal injuries, police said. The 2-year-old boy was given oxygen and is listed in stable condition. The parents were not harmed.
The cause of the blaze is under investigation, but preliminary evidence suggests it stemmed from a grease fire in the kitchen, police said.