KEARNY, N.J. (AP) - A 70-year-old woman died and three others
were injured when flames swept through their home Wednesday
morning, fire officials said.
Joan Stevenson was pulled from the home by relatives and
firefighters but died at West Hudson Hospital, Capt. Steve Dyl
Stevenson lived with her husband, James, in the building's
second-floor apartment. Living in the first-floor apartment was
James Stevenson's daughter, Nancy Murray, who is seven months'
pregnant, and her husband, Charles.
They were taken to the hospital for treatment of burns or smoke
inhalation. The Murrays were expected to be treated and released,
fire officials said. James Stevenson was admitted.
The fire broke out on the second floor just before 9 a.m.,
spreading quickly and blowing out windows.
David Stevenson, James Stevenson's nephew, said the Murrays
grabbed a fire extinguisher and raced upstairs to help the older
couple, whom they led downstairs to exit the building.
The older woman was behind them, following them to a side door,
but when they got out, she was not there.
Firefighters then attempted to rescue the woman, entering
through the back door, but were forced back by the flames and heat,
Dyl said.
They managed to knock down the flames enough to get inside,
where they found Joan Stevenson unconscious on the kitchen floor
and badly burned, Dyl said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)