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Explosive New Jersey house fire kills 5-year-old girl, grandmother

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LITTLE FERRY, N.J. — A 5-year-old girl and her grandmother died Wednesday after being injured in a Little Ferry house fire that left eight others injured, including three police officers, the Little Ferry Police Department chief has confirmed.

The unidentified child was critically injured in a fire that broke out at 109 Washington Ave. around 11 p.m. Tuesday.

She was unresponsive when pulled out of the house and given CPR, but later died.

The girl’s grandmother also suffered severe burns. She was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital where she later died, Little Ferry police said.

Eyewitnesses say they heard several pops around the time the fire started.

An eyewitness who lives across the street called 911, grabbed a flashlight and ran across the road to help pull an injured woman out of the burning building.

"The lady, she was severely injured in her face. I believe she jumped out of a window and landed on her face because there was a lot of blood,” said Ernest Matthews, who helped drag the woman away from the smoke and flames.

Lt. Chris Boel happened to be patrolling the area when the first explosion sounded.

A 44-year-old father dropped his kids, aged 14 and 20, from a 3rd floor window down to the officers below. The mother and father jumped. The fall broke some of the father's ribs, he also injured his neck and leg, according to his father who saw the aftermath.

“When I come, everybody outside. My granddaughter is crying. My son, laying down in the parking lot and he can’t move cause he’s in a lot of pain,” said Pedro Lucero.

Three officers were also briefly hospitalized for smoke inhalation.

The American Red Cross is helping two families — a total of six people — who were displaced by the fire, providing temporary lodging, food and clothing, the organization said Wednesday.