Four members of one family -- spanning three generations -- were killed in a fast-moving house fire in Union, N.J., this morning.
The victims were apparently consumed by the flames that tore through the house on Floyd Terrace just after 3 a.m.
Officials say a mother, a father, a grandmother and a 14-year-old girl were all killed by the flames.
Eyewitness News is told one of the dead was found in a bathroom clutching a fire extinguisher, another was discovered in a closet. A third was in a first-floor living room.
The sole survivor -- a son in his 20s who escaped the fierce flames by jumping out a first floor, window was hospitalized.
Fire officials were investigating whether the blaze was caused by Christmas lighting.
Firefighters who rushed into the burning house reportedly fell through the collapsing floors and had to retreat.
According to reports one firefighter was burned in the face aggressively battling the blaze. A police officer was also injured. Neither of their injuries were believed life-threatening.
Residents said the small house quickly went up in a fireball.
"I was greeted by this hellish orange wall of flames," said neighbor Sal DeFranco, who opened his front door to the inferno. "It was probably 12 feet high."
Crying members of the victims' family rushed from the scene.
Luis Orellana said the family was known as hard-working.
"This is a great tragedy, especially at this time of year," Orellana said. "It's real sad."
"It's tough when it's family members, and it's tough when it's children," Union Fire Chief Frederick Fretz said.
The fire broke out at the same time of another blaze in Union, stretching firefighter resources. But Fretz said it did not affect response time.
Republished with permission from WABC-TV
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