Fire in Irvington leaves 4 dead

Four women died Monday morning following an Irvington fire that broke out at 176 Columbia Ave.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, they discovered that at least two of the women, both teens, were shot in the head. Two others died in the blaze with severe burns. Essex County prosecutors could not be sure if they too were shot.

The neighborhood was shocked to learn of the murders. One of the victims was only 13 years old.

?That was my best friend,? said Debra Brown, an Irvington resident. ?When I came up from Virginia that was the first girl that I ever met, that was my best friend."

The Red Cross is reporting that others lived in the house as well. They will be helping those residents in the search for temporary housing.

Officials are now calling this incident both a murder and arson. Police commented there is heavy drug trafficking in that area, but believe the murder to be an isolated incident.

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