Feds: Melting power strip, electrical failure caused Union City fire that killed 5 children


A report issued by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says that a fatal Union City fire in July, which took the lives of five children, was caused by melting in a power strip that led to electrical failure, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced. 

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“This heartbreaking fire has been very traumatic for Union City as well as the entire Hudson County community,” Suarez said in a statement.

“Our Investigative Units, along with the help of our local, state and federal partners have worked diligently to provide a thorough investigation and possibly some closure for the community as to what caused this tragic fire.”

On July 13, shortly before 9:00 a.m., officials in Union City received a report of a fire on 25th Street. First responders found that there were victims trapped in the three-story
residence at 416 25th St.

Rescue efforts were made as firefighters from North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue, the Jersey City Fire Department and the Hoboken Fire Department fought the blaze.

In addition to the five fatalities and two injured victims, eight firefighters were transported by Emergency Medical Services to area hospitals where they were treated for various injuries.

The names and ages of the children that died as a result of the fire are: Mayli Wood, 5; Jason Gonzalez, 2; Christian Josue Mendez, 7; Jose Felipe Tejada, 13; and Shamira Lopez, 4.

uarez also credited the following agencies that participated in the investigation: the
Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit, Arson Unit and Crime Scene Unit, the
Union City Police Department, North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue, the Jersey City Fire
Department, the NJ Division of Fire Safety, the NJ State Fire Marshal and the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.