Plastic flowers may have fueled Newark fire that killed 6 at home on South 15th Street in Newark

Six people, including two children, were killed in a fire that ripped through a Newark home Sunday morning, and officials say decorations meant to beautify

Six people, including two children, were killed in

Six people, including two children, were killed in a fire that ripped through a Newark home Sunday morning, and officials say decorations meant to beautify the home may have fueled the flames. (Credit: News 12 New Jersey)

NEWARK - Six people, including two children, were killed in a fire that ripped through a Newark home Sunday morning, and officials say decorations meant to beautify the home may have fueled the flames.

Officials say the fire was ignited in front of the two-story home on South 15th Street near Madison Avenue just before 4 a.m. Fire investigators believe elaborate, but highly flamable plastic d├ęcor on the porch and front lawn may have contributed to the blaze, which quickly spread to all three floors, trapping the family inside. 

"These flowers are highly flammable once ignited and served as a conduit for an almost unbelievably fast fire that spread across the front of the house and up through the house," says Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray.

Neighbor Juanita Joffers says the decorations continued inside the home and on the back balcony as well.

The victims have been identified as Reginald Stewart, his wife Salome, both 58; her sister Natasha Kinsale, 47; 11-year-old Zion Forber, of East Orange; Noreen Johnson, 43; and her 15-year-old son, Stephon Sydney.

Officials say the victims had left their beds, but were not able to make it out.

The flames also spread to and damaged the house next door. No injuries were reported in the second home.

Reginald, Salome and Natasha were permanent residents of the home. Stephon had just arrived from Georgia Saturday to spend Father's Day with family because his father died a year ago in a motorcycle accident.

Friends say the matriarch of the family, whom they called "Salomi," wasn't just a mother and grandmother to her own family, but to the neighborhood kids as well. They say she often passed out books and pencils and other presents.

There is no word yet on what sparked the fire. No smoke detectors were found in the home. The Essex County Prosecutor's Office is investigating.

More on this topic

Newark Fatal Fire Investigation

Essex Co. Prosecutor's Major Crimes Tip Line : 1(877) 847-7432

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

VIDEO: News conference on arrest in murder of 1 VIDEO: News conference on arrest in murder of Sarah Butler
Republican Steve Rogers announces he will run for 2 Republican Steve Rogers announces gubernatorial run
Khalil Wheeler-Weaver, 20, was charged with the murder 3 Arrest made in murder of college student found in W. Orange
Dozens of fellow officers show up to support 4 Dozens show up to support fired Wayne police officer
5 VIDEO: Jersey City Pearl Harbor remembrance ceremony

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

It's good to know you have Walt Kane Kane in Your Corner

It's good to know you have Walt Kane in your corner.

News 12 takes a look at the hottest Tech Check

Eric Landskroner has a look at the latest gadgets and biggest stories in tech.

News 12 On the Scene

Check out these exclusive videos from New Jersey celebs!

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE