Three people were killed Monday in Wayne, N.J., when their home caught fire.
A Wayne man, his 34-year-old daughter and her boyfriend were inside the home, located at 121 Jackson Avenue, when it was engulfed by flames shortly after 6 p.m.
Wayne house fire: GoFundMe page
The blaze started at about 6:15 p.m., Wayne city officials and the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.
The statement didn’t name the victims, but a neighbor, Mike Nemeh, identified the three as Carlos Gutierrez, his daughter Katherinne, and her boyfriend. A GoFundMe page was posted Tuesday to help the families.
“Fire and pain is what is left in our family’s heart because we as the four sisters left lost a sister, our mother with 4 children lost her husband, our niece who is only 4 years old is now left without a father and a mother,” the page reads. “There is no amount of tears or words to describe what we are feeling right now.”
Wayne house fire: extensive damage
The damage to the structure was apparent from outside the one-and-a-half-story home, whose windows were shattered and siding peeled off in spots. Firefighters were forced to break through the roof in at least two spots to help battle the blaze.
Officials didn’t immediately release a cause for the fire.
Wayne house fire: neighbors close
The GoFundMe page said Katherinne Gutierrez was a nurse with the Hackensack Meridian Health system. Carlos Gutierrez worked for a landscaping company, said Nemeh, who lives next door.
Nemeh said Gutierrez’s wife was out of the country when the fire occurred. He talked of his neighbor as a brother, saying the two families would have dinner together almost every night. Nemeh said his wife would cook food for Gutierrez to take to work every day.
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