NJ House Fire

Steve Burns/WCBS 880

Malfunctioning Power Strip Caused Fire That Killed 5 Kids In Union City

October 11, 2018 - 4:46 pm

UNION CITY, N.J. (WCBS 880/AP) -- Federal investigators say a malfunctioning power strip sparked a New Jersey house fire that killed five children.
The report from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also concludes the July 13 fire in Union City was an accident.
The report made public Thursday by Hudson County prosecutors states the power strip started sparking after an electrical failure, which ignited nearby flammable materials in a first-floor apartment at the home.

“This heartbreaking fire has been very traumatic for Union City as well as the entire Hudson County community,” said Prosecutor Esther Suarez. “Our Investigative Units, along with the help of our local, state and federal partners have worked diligently to provide a thorough investigation and possibly some closure for the community as to what caused this tragic fire.”
The children -- 2-year-old Jason Gonzalez, 4-year-old Shamira Lopez, 5-year-old Mayli Wood, 7-year-old Christian Josue Mendez and 13-year-old Jose Felipe Tejada -- died from injuries suffered in the fire. They were all asleep in a third-floor apartment when the fire broke out.
Officials have said four of the children were siblings, while the fifth was a cousin. A man and a woman were also injured in the fire.

(© 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report)