What to Know
- A raging house fire in Cranford, New Jersey claimed the life of one person and injured another, local authorities said.
- One woman died and two other people who were inside had to be rescued by a neighbor after the flames were reported around 7 a.m. Tuesday in a 2 1/2 story structure.
- Nearby residents are shaken up following the deadly fire. Many of them tried to rescue their neighbors before fire crews arrived.
A raging house fire in Cranford, New Jersey claimed the life of one person and injured another, local authorities said.
Chopper 4 captured images of the intense scene that unfolded on Beach Street near West End Place -- prompting several area fire departments to spring into action.
One woman died and two other people who were inside had to be rescued by a neighbor after the flames were reported around 7 a.m. Tuesday in a 2 1/2 story structure. No other injuries were reported as a result of this.
Officials say when they arrived, they were met with heavy flames right away.
"When we arrived on scene neighbors were out, they were actively trying to rescue the occupants and we immediately went into an offensive rescue operation at that time to save two victims," Cranford Fire Department Lt. Matthew Lubin said.
As the flames threatened to engulf the front of the house, neighbor Dan Rogers banged on the front door, then heard people yelling from the second floor window.
"I asked if they could get out, and they said they didn't think they could get out through the house," Rogers said.
That's when Rogers ran back to his home to grab an aluminum ladder from his garage, and put it up to the second floor. He held it while a man and woman climbed down, even as the side of his own house next door looked like it might catch fire as well.
"You just hope that anybody would do it for anybody else, and that's what I did," said Rogers.
The woman who did not survive was later identified as 83-year-old Grace Sinnot, who was on the first floor. The fire was brought under control just after 8 a.m., the fire department said.
Nearby residents were shaken up following the deadly fire, which caused damage to the outside of a neighboring home as well as a detached garage. Many who live in the area tried to rescue their neighbors before fire crews arrived.
"It doesn’t matter what the tragedy is, we’re there. So we’ll embrace this family and the neighbors who are shaken up." Cranford Mayor Kathleen Miller Prunty said at the scene. "We throw the word 'hero' around a lot, but their neighbors were true heroes. I don't know if they realize it yet, may take them a few days before it sinks in what they did."
An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the fire.