UNION, N.J. (PIX11) — Two people died Sunday morning after they became trapped in a house fire in New Jersey, authorities said.
Susan Deutra lives on Grandview Avenue in Union, where the fire took place. She recalled being woken up by the house fire.
“I was sleeping and how loud the bang was, it woke me up,” said Deutra. “When I came outside, my street was lit up. This looked like Christmas.”
Fire officials said they were called just after 5:30 a.m. The two-level house was engulfed in flames, with two people trapped inside on the top floor. As the fire grew, first responders had to call for backup.
“At some point, the roof and the floor collapsed, and members had to be backed out,” said Union Fire Chief Gregory Ricciardi.
Two bodies were recovered. The victims have not been identified.
Neighbors said the smell of the charred house and melted siding is troubling, but knowing two people didn’t make it out alive is heartbreaking.
“For something like this to happen. We are all just devastated about what happened. It’s scary,” said Deutra.
Multiple neighbors reported hearing a booming sound, but the cause of the fire remained unknown as of Sunday evening.