LITTLE FERRY, N.J. – A fire Tuesday night burned down a 3-story home in Little Ferry and injured ten people, including a 5-year-old girl and three police officers, officials said.
The fire started at 109 Washington Ave. around 11 p.m. Tuesday, but was extinguished hours later.
A 5-year-old girl was pulled out of the house unresponsive and given CPR. She was brought to an area hospital, where she is currently in critical condition and not expected to survive, officials said at a press conference Wednesday morning.
The other six civilians injured were hospitalized for burns or smoke inhalation-related conditions, Little Ferry police chief Ralph Verdi said.
The 5-year-old's grandmother was pulled out by firefighters with severe burns and is currently in critical condition, officials said.
A father dropped his two children, ages 14 and 20, out of the windows of the burning building to waiting officers below, according to officials. The 44-year-old father, as well as the mother, jumped out after, and the father sustained injuries that needed surgery, authorities said.
Three cops were taken in for a smoke inhalation but were treated and released, Verdi said. Authorities have identified the officers as Lt. Chris Boel, OfficerDominick Verdi and OfficerAngelo Ratto.
The overnight blaze could've been much worse if it weren't for Boel, who was driving down a nearby road and heard an "explosion" come from Washington Avenue — and decided to act and call for backup as the house began to be engulfed in flames.
"It was pretty much covered in black smoke," Boel said. "When other officers arrived on scene, we started breaking windows and then they started to jumping off windows – and we pulled several people out of the building."
Officials also said Wednesday that a resident helped to alert firefighters of the blaze by running to a nearby volunteer fire house and pulling the alarm.
A neighbor with the Instagram user name @atehbecca also heard a blast come from the house.
"Things were exploding and people were running around trying to find which house and to see if the people that lived were okay," @atehbecca wrote.
There was a crazy house fire on my street in Little Ferry. Things were exploding and people were running around trying to find out which house and to see if the people that lived there were okay. I managed to take this video before they started kicking people out. I hope everyone got out okay... :/ #housefire #crazy #literallylit #fire Thank you so much to the people who responded to this fire! Keep up the good work, and stay safe! If you're reading this, please take the time to help out the family that was victimized by the fire by donating to this GoFundMe Page: https://www.gofundme.com/2k8bcdo
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
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.