EAST ORANGE, NJ - Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino and East Orange Public Safety Director Sheilah Coley have announced that authorities are investigating a fatal fire in East Orange, NJ.  Shortly after 6:30 am yesterday, East Orange fire and police units responded to a fire alarm at a multi-unit apartment building in the 100 block of Watson Avenue. 

Arriving firefighters observed smoke coming from an apartment in the building and the firefighters made a forced entry into the apartment where they were met by a fire and a heavy smoke condition. The firefighters located an unresponsive male on the floor and removed him from the apartment. The fire was essentially contained to one apartment and was quickly extinguished by firefighters. The male was transported to East Orange General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:27 am, according to Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas S. Fennelly of the Prosecutor’s Homicide Unit. The victim has been identified as Raymond Beasley, age 57, who resided in the apartment where the fire originated.

The cause and origin of the fire is being investigated by detectives from the Prosecutor’s Major Crimes Task Force. The investigation is ongoing, however; at this time, it does not appear to be suspicious, according to Fennelly. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Prosecutor's Tips Line at (877) 847-7432.