New Jersey

Toddler Killed in NJ Fire Identified; Father Critically Burned

A toddler who died in a fire that spread to four buildings and a church in Union City has been identified. 

The body of Eddie Gonzalez Jr. was found in his Summit Avenue home after firefighters put out the blaze, the Hudson County prosecutor said Sunday. He would have turned 2 in a few weeks. 

His father, Eddie Gonzalez, Sr.,  was badly burned and remains in critical condition at St. Barnabas Medical Center, the prosecutor's office said. His mother was treated and released from Hoboken University Hospital. 

The fire began Saturday in the building where the Gonzalezes live, prosecutors said. It spread to four other buildings and Saints Joseph and Michael Church on Central Avenue. 

More than 50 people were displaced. Strong winds helped the fire spread quickly from an apartment building to another structure and then to the steeple of the church. 

gofundme page to fund the toddler's funeral was started by a Union City resident Saturday. The $10,000 goal was reached within five hours, and people continuing to donate.

Mayor Brian P. Stack's civic association has also offered to cover the costs of the funeral for the boy. He said it was "the least he could do" for the child's family.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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