NJFSAB Reports on Fatal Jersey City Fire That Claimed Two Lives

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A tragic fire in Jersey City claimed the lives of two children last week. To date, over a dozen people have lost their lives in residential fires in New Jersey this year, eclipsing last February's rate.

A fatal fire in Jersey City claimed the lives of two siblings last Wednesday. The fire broke out at 11:30 p.m. and tore through the home on Martin Luther King Drive.

The two siblings, an 8-month-old boy and an 11-year-old girl, were reported as being trapped in the house when the authorities arrived. First responders quickly arrived on scene and braved heavy smoke and flames to recover those trapped and get the fire under control. While the first responders worked quickly, effectively, and bravely to recover both of the children on the scene, the smoke had already proved to be lethal. The 11-year-old was pronounced deceased at the scene of the fire, while her 8-month-old brother later passed away at the Jersey City Medical Center.

Fire investigators believe that the 11-year-old girl perished from the smoke while desperately trying to save her younger brother.

Home fires are quick, destructive, and unforgiving. And while fire does not discriminate, it is often the most vulnerable of our society that are lost in these catastrophes: the elderly, the disabled and young children. Our thoughts are with those who were affected by this tragedy. We offer our condolences to the family in their time of healing.

While fires are destructive, there are measures families can take to mitigate the risk. Having working smoke detectors, practicing your escape plan with two ways out, and having a meeting place are all excellent ways to keep you and your family safe.

In addition to having working smoke detectors and an escape plan, homeowners can also consider home fire sprinklers. Home fire sprinklers are by far the most effective way to protect a home’s occupants from the threat of fire. A fire sprinkler system reacts to heat, not smoke, and is designed to cut down on smoke and flames, giving the occupants a means of egress.

The New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board offers its condolences to those affected by this tragedy and hopes that, with the acceptance of fire sprinklers, fires such as this will become a thing of the past. The NJFSAB works closely with fire departments, elected officials, and other community leaders to promote the widespread acceptance of fire sprinklers in the state of New Jersey. For more information on fire sprinklers, or to learn how the NJFSAB can promote fire safety in your community, visit saveandprotect.org.

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Michael Wilson
@NJFSAB
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