One dead in Secaucus, NJ apartment fire

April 4, 2011 3:32:33 AM PDT
One person is dead after a fire at the Harmon Cove Townhouses in Secaucus, New Jersey.

The fire wasted no time tearing through a multi-level apartment building at 201 Sandcastle Key.

The fire went straight up out the roof, bowing to nothing and no one in its way, including one woman trapped inside.

Officials tell us her body was already on the ground when rescue crews arrived at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

It was reported she plummeted from a third floor window and that her body was on fire.

Neighbors, horrified by her death, say the blaze moved so quickly because it was whipped around and fueled by the strong winds.

One neighbor said, "I heard sirens. I went outside, we were doing some housework shook something out, saw a ton of smoke, we got our shoes on and came over here and the whole thing was engulfed in flames."

No word yet on what started the blaze but according to the mayor, who is also the volunteer Secaucus fire chief, the flames got the upper hand from the beginning.

"The right side, upper floor was fully involved, coming out of every window. So, I mean the fire must've been going for sometime before we arrived," Mayor Michael Gonnelli explained.

Harmon Cove Townhouses are nestled in the heart of the Secaucus outlets.

It is a quiet residential community where many neighbors know each other and are now feeling the sting.

Harmon Cove resident Justin Barreto said, "It's sad to see. We've never really had anything big happen in our complex. It's like our own little town here."

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