New Jersey authorities are investigating an early-morning fire at a house in Flanders that killed a father and his young son, and injured a young daughter.
The fire was on the first floor of a house subdivided into four apartments, according to Flanders Fire Chief Frank Zeller. Hesham Moustafa, 52, and his 7-year-old son were found huddled together in the bathroom of their apartment.
"It's not a surprise for me to hear something like that," said Mohamed Alezabi, a co-worker of Moustafa at a nearby Dunkin Donuts. "I believe he did that to protect the boy."
Moustafa's wife, who worked at the coffee chain with her husband, and their older teenage daughter managed to escape the fire.
The younger girl was not breathing when she was brought out of the home but emergency responders were able to revive her. She is in critical condition.
A neighbor who did not want to be identified said he tried to help but couldn't get through the flames.
"There was so much smoke and there were so many flames," he said.
"She was just begging for someone to help her save her kids," he said of the mother who escaped the fire.