Altered space heater blamed in fatal Flanders fire

February 20, 2013 4:53:49 AM PST
Investigators say a fire at a multifamily home that killed a northern New Jersey man and his stepson occurred because someone improperly altered the wiring of a space heater that was being used in the family's apartment.

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp issued the finding Tuesday, one day after the fire roared through the Mount Olive residence. He also said the unit had no working smoke detectors.

Knapp said 52-year-old Hesham Moustafa and 7-year-old Cristiano Bonner were killed in the fire.

The boy's mother, Carmella Moustafa, and her 9-year-old daughter, Bianca Bonner, were both injured in the fire, while Hesham Moustafa's 19-year-old daughter, Rewan Moustafa, safely escaped the flames.

Bianca Bonner remains hospitalized in stable condition, while her mother was treated and released.

The fire was ruled an accident.

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