Woman killed in Cranford house fire

Posted: Updated:
CRANFORD -

A woman was killed Saturday morning in fire at her Cranford home, officials say.

The fire broke out just before 6 a.m. at the two-story home on Brookside Place.

Friends and relatives identified the victim as Jan Gellar, who was in her mid-80s. She had lived alone after her husband died.

Gellar's two dogs also died in the blaze.

Edna Avidon, the victim's sister, says she's still not sure of the exact cause of Gellar's death, and she's doesn't know what could have caused the fire. Avidon says her sister didn't use candles or space heaters.

Spencer McCray, who worked as a caretaker for the victim for 16 years, says he's heartbroken that his most recent visit with Gellar was his last.  "I actually called her my grandmother," says McCray. "I'm going to really miss her."

Long-time Cranford resident Megan Doktor was on her newspaper route when she stumbled upon the house fire. She immediately called 911.

"Flames were shooting out of the house on the second floor out of the windows and the whole backyard was on fire. Fire was pouring from the trees it was one of those things that you see in the movie. You don't expect to pull up on something like that," says Doktor.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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