UNION CITY– According to a press release from Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, the investigation into the origin and cause of the fire at 416 25th St. in Union City on July 13 continues. It has now claimed the lives of five children.
Monday night, July 16, the fifth child, Shamira Lopez, age 4, was pronounced dead. Over the weekend four others passed away: 5-year-old Mayli Wood, two-year-old Jason Gonzalez, seven-year-old Christian Josue Mendez, and 13-year-old Jose Felipe Tejada. Several of them are cousins.
An adult man and woman were also injured in the fire and they are in stable condition. Eight firefighters were transported by Emergency Medical Services to area hospitals where they were treated for various minor injuries.
A preliminary investigation determined that the fire began at 416 25th St. A residential building located at 414 25th St. also sustained damage from the fire. Arson investigators have determined that the fire originated on the first floor of the three-story residence.
The Prosecutor’s Homicide Unit and the Union City Police Department are actively investigating this incident with assistance from the NJ State Fire Marshals Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office at 201-915-1345 or leave an anonymous tip on the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office website at http://www.hudsoncountyprosecutorsofficenj.org/homicide-tip/. All information will be kept confidential.