What to Know
- Four children died and at least a dozen other people were taken to hospitals as a five-alarm fire consumed a multi-family home in New Jersey
- Chopper 4 footage showed a heavily charred and damage home; smoke billowed from the roof and sides of the building
- People were seen gathering on the roofs of nearby buildings to watch the major emergency response unfold; a cause is under investigation
The inferno that devoured a multi-family home in New Jersey last week, killing two young brothers and their 5-year-old cousin, has claimed the life of a fourth child -- a 13-year-old boy, the prosecutor's office said Monday.
The four children killed in the Union City blaze have been identified as brothers Jason Gonzalez, 2, and Christian Josue Mendez, 7; their cousin, Mayli Wood, 5; and 13-year-old Jose Felipe Tejada.
Three others injured in the fire remain hospitalized: a 4-year-old girl who's in critical condition at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and a woman and a man who are in stable condition.
Prosecutors said Monday the fire appears to have started on the first floor of the three-story home at 416 25th St. They're still looking into a cause and origin.
Witnesses described a horrifying scene.
"They were all unconscious, one child's face was burned," said Eddei Miranda.
Eudes Hernandez, a friend of a family that lost a child, was at the corner of the street when he says he saw smoke and fire. He ran to the flaming building and tried desperately to help get everyone out. He said he tried to knock on the doors, but he couldn't even see anything because of all the smoke.
"I feel so bad for them. I knock on the door, try to get out everybody," he said.
Chopper 4 footage showed an entire side of the multi-story building charred black from heavy fire. The windows looked like smoldering panels of charcoal as smoke billowed from the roof and sides of the house. People were seen gathering on the roofs of neighboring buildings to watch the response unfold.