Two dead in East Orange fire

November 28, 2008 8:27:42 PM PST
Two people were killed when a fire tore through three homes in East Orange early Friday.Flames ripped through 219 South Burnett Street just before 6 a.m. By the time firefighters arrived, the fire had spread to 221 and 225 South Burnett Street, and a mother and daughter were unaccounted for.

"Firefighters did rescue some people out of house number 221, and we're bringing in heavy equipment to assist us...as we continue the effort," OEM coordinator David Williams said.

Hours after firefighters got the blaze under control, they were still dealing with persistent hot spots and several unstable structures.

Relative Tanya Daniels, along with other family members and displaced residents, sought a warm place to rest on a New Jersey Transit bus for several hours, waiting for word on their missing loved ones.

Later in the day, firefighters recovered the bodies of 56-year-old Donna Thompson and her 37-year-old daughter, Ashone.

"My birthday was yesterday," Daniels said. "My father died six days before my birthday years ago. My brother died in a fire years ago on New Year's Eve. So this is scary."

The East Orange Fire Department is still investigating what caused the fire, while the Red Cross is providing temporary shelter to the displaced residents.

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STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Thalia Patillo

WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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