A mother and her teenage son were killed in an early morning fire that blazed through a home in New Jersey early Friday, authorities said.
The fire began before 6 a.m. in a two-story home on Green Pond Road in Rockaway Township. According to a fire department spokesman, the woman and her son were trapped on the second floor as firefighters who tried to get inside the house to rescue them were driven back by intense flames.
The woman's husband told firefighters he had fallen asleep downstairs and was awakened by smoke. He was not hurt.
The fire did not appear to be suspicious, the Morris County Prosecutor's Office said. The victims have been identified as Pam Decker and 17-year-old Daniel Decker.
According to witnesses, Decker's husband said his son had been on his way downstairs when he heard the mother saying she couldn't breathe anymore. Daniel turned around and went back upstairs, but never made it back down.
A woman who identified herself as Decker's sister said her 17-year-old nephew was a hero for trying to rescue his mother.
"He tried to get his mother out of the house," she said. "He will always be our hero."