Elderly Couple Feared Dead After Fire Destroys NJ Home

Authorities say an elderly couple remains unaccounted for after a fast-moving fire destroyed their northern New Jersey home. (Published Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018)

An elderly couple remained unaccounted for and was feared dead after a fast-moving fire destroyed their northern New Jersey home.

The blaze started around 6:30 a.m. Sunday and was brought under control in about 45 minutes, according to Teaneck fire officials.

Neighbors said the couple, who are both in their 80s, had lived in the home for more than 40 years. Their names have not been released. 

One body had been pulled from the home by Sunday evening, when the search was called off for the night. That body hasn't been identified, but is believed to be that of the man or woman.

Crews were expected to pickup their search again Monday morning. 

"I'm just appalled. I can't tell you how I feel about it," one neighbor, Ed Glasser, said as he fought back tears.

Cristina Natareno, a health aide who used to care for the woman at the home, said the woman has been a heavy smoker for decades. She said she was on oxygen 24/7 and that there were oxygen tanks all over the house. 

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, authorities said.

Two police officers who were among the first emergency responders on the scene were treated for smoke inhalation.

No other injuries were reported in the fire, which also significantly damaged two nearby residences.