5 killed, including 3 kids, in Newark, NJ, fire

July 20, 2012 - 7:38 PM
Fatal NJ Fire

Firefighters continue to work at a scene where the remains of at least three buildings lay in ruin after a fast moving fire, starting in an abandoned building, spread to an adjacent building killing four people in Newark, N.J. Friday July 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A fast-moving New Jersey apartment house fire that began in a vacant building next door has killed five people, including three young children.

Fire officials say those killed Friday lived in two third-floor apartments in Newark's Vailsburg neighborhood.

A 3-year-old girl and her 4-year-old brother died in a back apartment. Their mother and father escaped the blaze with two other children. A father and his 6-year-old daughter and teenage son died in the other apartment.

The fire started just before 2 a.m. and quickly escalated, damaging four other buildings. The cause is under investigation.

Mayor Cory Booker says the deaths are a tragedy for everyone in the state's largest city.