There was no lack of heroics in Elizabeth Monday night, and officials say there was no delay.
Despite the valiant efforts to save the trapped victims, authorities confirm two young girls did not survive.
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"Very sad, very sad," restaurant owner Miguel Patrikios said.
Officials say a blaze broke out Monday around 6 p.m. inside a baby store on Elizabeth Avenue.
The cribs and other items would prove easy tinder for the flames, which quickly jumped to five alarms.
Three police officers happened to be only a block away.
Eyewitness News was told they were on the scene immediately and tried desperately to rescue a family on the second floor, but there were locked bars on the windows.
Once the fire department arrived, authorities say it was a team effort to get the victims out.
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"The fire and police department did a miraculous job early, but the smoke overcame them," Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage said.
It took more than 100 firefighters, 3.5 hours to get the scene under control.
"It was hard to control from spreading," Pat Byrnes of the Elizabeth Fire Department said. "We didn't see white smoke until an hour. It was constant black smoke and we were putting lot of water on it."
Many residents are now wondering if their apartments are gone.
One owner is anxious to learn if her beauty salon was destroyed.
"Just waiting, I don't know if I lost everything," Cynthia Majia said.
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