Police & Fire

Two Die Following Early Morning Home Fire in Berkeley Heights

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Credits: RLS Media
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Credits: RLS Media
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BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Two people died and a third is in critical condition following a fire at at a home on Orion Road in Berkeley Heights Thursday morning.

The first call came into police at 12:47 a.m. from a neighbor reporting the smell of smoke in  area. While police and firefighters were on their way to the fire, a second 9-1-1 caller said there was a structure fire at 104 Orion Road, said Police Capt. Robert Deitch.

When police arrived, they found heavy smoke coming out of the home and forced the door open but were unable to enter the home. Neighbors told police that two elderly people were in the home. 

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When Berkeley Heights firefighters arrived, they were able to enter the home, find an elderly woman and a live-in home health aide on the first floor, the elderly man on the second floor and take them out of the home, where CPR and other medical assistance was administered to each. They were transported to Overlook Medical Center, where the man and woman were pronounced dead.  The female home health care aide was reported to be in critical condition.

The names of the victims have not been released by police.

Two firefighters suffered injuries - one had a laceration to his hand, the second suffered smoke inhalation. They were taken to local hospitals for treatment.

Berkeley Heights Fire and fire departments from surrounding towns were able to extinguish the fire and declare the scene under control at 1:48 a.m.

New Providence and Watchung Fire departments also responded to the fire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Berkeley Heights Fire Department and Union County Arson Squad. This is not deemed to be suspicious at this time, said Deitch.

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