Mother and Child Pronounced Dead Following Scotch Plains House Fire

A 32-year-old woman and her 3-year-old son were confirmed dead at Overlook Hospital following a fire in their Church Avenue home.

Updated 12:25 a.m.

The 32-year-old woman and her 3-year-old son who lived in the Church Avenue home were pronounced dead at Overlook Hospital in Summit late Tuesday evening, according to Police Chief Brian Mahoney of the Scotch Plains Police Department.

Mahoney added that the family dog was also killed in the fire.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation by Scotch Plains detectives along with the Union County Prosecutor’s Office.

The causes of death are believed to be related to the fire, but are officially pending autopsy results.

The exact time the fire broke out is unknown, but firefighters arrived at the scene around 7:15 p.m. According to Mahoney and neighbors, firefighters had to force entry into the left side of the duplex in order to gain access into the home.


Original Story

A child and woman were injured in a fire on the 1900 block of Church Avenue in Scotch Plains which broke out around 7:15 on Tuesday evening.

Officials told the Star-Ledger that the child and woman suffered serious injuries. Police and emergency officials have yet to inform Patch of the extent of the injuries sustained. 

A crew from the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad, an arson investigation unit as well as crews from the county were on the scene.

The fire, which occurred in a two-family house, was brought under control by fire crews from Scotch Plains and Fanwood. The fire seems to have been located on the second story of the home. 

When Patch arrived on scene at 7:45 p.m. the fire was extinguished and the injured victims were already transported to the hospital. However, all firefighters and rescue squad members were still on the scene checking the interior and structure of the home.

At 9:10 p.m. firefighters and the rescue squad were still on the scene, as well as a detective and arson investigator.

For several hours, portions of Park Avenue were blocked off between Portland Avenue and East 2nd Street and Church Avenue was blocked off completely.

Patch will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.

Carolyn Ahr December 20, 2012 at 02:49 AM
It used to be Church STREET, many, many, many years ago. I know tons of people who still refer to it as such; although the street signs now say Avenue.
Nicole Bitette December 20, 2012 at 04:31 AM
Hi all, here is the updated article, deaths of mother and child ruled homicide/suicide... http://scotchplains.patch.com/articles/deaths-of-mother-and-child-in-church-avenue-fire-ruled-homicide-suicide
melanie calvert December 20, 2012 at 04:37 AM
How sad! Too bad there is not enough mental health available to those in need. This mom certainly could have used it!
daveab December 20, 2012 at 12:57 PM
This is a very very awful and tragic event and my heart goes out to this family and especially that little boy! However, I do have to respectfully disagree with Melanie's comment: There are many mental health services available (outpatient, day treatment, inpatient, crisis intervention, crisis mobile, suicide hotlines and mental health online services). Though the system is imperfect and insurance companies/medicaid can sometimes make it difficult to receive services: there are ALWAYS options available to those in need. Many hospitals have charity care or practices will take patients on a sliding scale, if insurance or finances become a problem. You just have to find them. Often times those in need choose not to seek out services, do not know how to seek out services, feel uncomfortable seeking out services due to stigma, etc.
Former Fanwooder December 20, 2012 at 07:16 PM
prayers and thanks to the first responders who were at the scene so quickly. I can't imagine having to do their job, especially when a child is involved. Thanks to them that they are "out there" ready to help us when the need arises.


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