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Ridgefield Park-Hasbrouck Heights Daily Voice serves Hasbrouck Heights, Little Ferry, Moonachie, Ridgefield Park & Wood-Ridge

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DV Pilot police & fire

Girl, Grandmother Die From Injuries In Little Ferry Fire

Maribella Colon Photo Credit: PHOTO: Courtesy Jose Urena-Garcia
Three victims -- including a 5-year-old child -- were critically injured, emergency responders told Daily Voice. Photo Credit: DAILY VOICE photo: Vincent Messina (
The morning after. Photo Credit: Annette DiMaggio Eichler for DAILY VOICE

LITTLE FERRY, N.J. (UPDATE) -- A beloved 5-year-old girl rescued from a ferocious Little Ferry blaze Tuesday night and her grandmother both died on Wednesday.

Little Maribella Colon died at Hackensack University Medical Center just before noon and her grandmother, Margaret, at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston shortly after, Police Chief Ralph Verdi told Daily Voice.

The girl "was the last one taken out," he said. "They were doing CPR on her at the scene."

Margaret Colon was hospitalized with severe burns after firefighters carried her out through a window, the chief said.


A GoFundMe page was established to help the Colon family.


Witnesses said an explosion ignited the fire, which injured 10 people in all.

Three police officers were checked out at a local hospital and released -- one with a twisted knee and the others with smoke inhalation -- after they rushed in to rescue residents, Police Chief Ralph Verdi said.

"We don't have any breathing apparatus," Verdi told Daily Voice. "They just went in and did what they had to do."

Members of family who lived on the first floor were released after being treated, although only one remained at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck with broken bones, the chief said Wednesday.

Five members of a third family survived by jumping out their second-floor bathroom window, he said.

Investigators don't believe the cause was suspicious, the chief said.

They found "no signs of foul play or a gas leak," he said.

Police Lt. Chris Boel was on routine patrol when he heard an explosion and saw fire around 11:30 a.m. He arrived to the sounds of screams as people tried to escape the three-story multi-family home on Washington Avenue, Verdi said.

Boel summoned help and rushed into the building, with Officers Dominick Verdi and Angelo Ratto soon close behind.

A neighbor who lives across the street said she'd just gotten home, got out of her car and was putting the key in her door when she heard an explosion.

She ran to a local fire station and activated the pull-box alarm.

The Bergen County Prosecutor's Arson Investigations Unit was investigating along with Little Ferry police. The county sheriff's Bureau of Criminal Identification collected evidence.

Originally from Elmwood Park, family members had moved around a bit in recent years, a relative told Daily Voice. They'd only just settled into the third floor of the Washington Avenue home months ago, she said.

Maribella Barbarose Colon, who a friend said was "just registered for school the other day," survived the night but then succumbed to her injuries before noon Wednesday. Her grandmother died a short time later, Verdi said.

Stephanie Colon remained at HUMC with what Verdi characterized as compound injuries.

Maribella's father, Jose Urena-Garcia of New York, wrote to his daughter on Facebook on Wednesday that he was sorry he "couldn't be there for you to save you from that fire."

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