Child killed, 16 people hurt in Union City fire

A child was killed in one of two fires that broke out early Saturday morning in Union City, police say.

The first blaze began just after 1 a.m. in a three-story building on 14th Street, between Summit and Central avenues. News 12 was told strong winds carried the embers of that fire the Church of Saints Joseph and Michael about a block away.

A priest with the Church of Saints Joseph and Michael tells News 12 that the little boy was 2-year-old Eddie Sanchez. The boy was in the first apartment that caught fire.

News 12 was also told that Eddie's father and mother were taken to a hospital in critical condition.

The cold temperatures turned the water into ice, covering the block around Saints Joseph and Michael Church. Officials say a total of 16 people, including residents and firefighters were hospitalized due to slips and falls, broken bones and smoke inhalation.

Officials say at least 60 to 80 people were forced out of their homes. The Red Cross has set up a shelter at the Jose Marti School to help those in need.

Mayor Brian Stack says people should avoid the area where the fires took place. He also said that the Brian P. Stack Civic Association would cover the costs for the child's funeral.

Fire crews are investigating how the original fire began.

Mass for the Saints Joseph and Michael parish will be held at the Mother Seaton School due to the damage by the fire.

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