Elderly residents missing after massive fire destroys home in Morris Township, New Jersey

The rear part of the building on Normandy Heights Road appeared to have collapsed.

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Friday, August 5, 2022
2 missing after fire destroys home in New Jersey
A massive fire destroyed a home in Morris Township early Friday morning. Anthony Johnson has the details.

MORRIS TOWNSHIP, New Jersey (WABC) -- A massive fire destroyed a home in Morris Township early Friday morning and two elderly residents are presumed dead.

The flames broke out around 3:30 a.m. on Normandy Heights Road near Columbia Road.

Video from NewsCopter 7 showed multiple firefighting units pouring water on a large, multi-story house that had been completely gutted by flames.

It is believed the home dates back to the 1890s and the rear part of the building appeared to have collapsed.

Authorities suspect that 87-year-old Robert Ricciardi and 85-year-old Gemma Ricciardi may have died in the fire, but the search to find them is ongoing.

"There was heroic efforts here by the police, fire, EMS, heroic efforts to try to rescue people inside that house, we are in the recovery mode right now," the sheriff said.

The area is surrounded by more modern homes on well-manicured lawns, so neighbors are spread apart.

The cause of the fire is also under investigation.

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