New Jersey

8-Year-Old Girl Dies in NJ House Fire, 9-Year-Old Badly Burned: Officials

Two adults and the 9-year-old escaped the house fire in Somerville, but the child was taken to a burn trauma center in critical condition. The cause and origin of the fire is under investigation

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An 8-year-old girl who was trapped on the second floor of a burning home in New Jersey early Friday died, while a 9-year-old girl remains in critical condition at a local burn trauma center. Two adults, a man and a woman, also escaped.

Police and firefighters in Somerville got multiple 911 calls about the blaze at the home on Eastern Avenue around 2:10 a.m. and found the residence fully engulfed when they arrived. The two adults, a 31-year-old man and a 41-year-old woman, along with the 9-year-old girl, were outside the flaming home and told authorities that a second child was still trapped in a second-floor back bedroom, officials said.

"Responding officers made every attempt to gain entry into the residence, but were unsuccessful in gaining entry due to the fire, extreme heat and heavy smoke conditions," prosecutors said in a Friday afternoon statement.

Firefighters eventually reached the little girl, but she was unresponsive. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Her identity has not been released.

The two adults and the 9-year-old, who apparently escaped from their respective second-floor bedroom windows, were taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries like burns and cuts suffered as they escaped the blaze. The child appeared to be most severely injured and was taken to a burn trauma center, where she was listed in critical but stable condition as of Friday afternoon, according to officials.

The medical examiner will conduct an autopsy on the 8-year-old to determine the cause of death. The cause and origin of the fire remain under investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100 or the Somerville Police Department at (908) 725-0331 or via the STOPit app, which lets citizens provide anonymous reports including videos and photos. No other details were immediately available.

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