Mother dies from her injuries a week after fire killed her two children, a friend and one other woman at a New Jersey furniture store
A mother who initially survived a fire that tore through a New Jersey furniture store last week killing her two young daughters, their friend, and another woman has died of her injuries.
Merlyn Vasquez, 36, died on Thursday at a hospital, three days after the fire occurred in Elizabeth.
Her death was confirmed on Tuesday by a city spokeswoman.
The fire apparently started in a ground-floor business and quickly spread to a second-floor furniture store where the victims were found, authorities have said.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but officials have said it may have started in a soda machine in a dollar-store on the ground-floor.
Vasquez's daughters - Daniela Marquez, 8, and Paola Marquez, 10 - died in the fire, along with their friend, Elizabeth Correas, 11.
瓦斯克斯的女儿-8岁的丹妮拉·马尔克斯(Daniela Marquez)和10岁的宝拉·马尔克斯(Paola Marquez)-与他们11岁的朋友伊丽莎白·科雷亚斯(Elizabeth Correas)一起在大火中丧生。
The Marquez sisters and their mother are survived by their older sibling, 20-year-old Tatiana.
Correas' mother told WNBC-TV that she brought her daughter to the United States from El Salvador seeking a better life.
The mother and the three girls were shopping for school supplies when the fire broke out sometime after 6pm on October 5.
Another woman, Candida Martinez-Del Reyes, 41, was also killed, but it's not clear if she was related to any of the other victims.
另一名女子，41岁的坎迪达·马丁内斯-德尔·雷耶斯(Candida Martinez-Del Reyes)也被杀，但尚不清楚她是否与其他受害者有亲属关系。
Her body was found in the debris on the morning of October 6.
A GoFundMe account was launched to help raise funds needed to repatriate her body back to her native El Salvador.
Friends have said Marquez's family had immigrated from El Salvador last year and lived in Elizabeth.
Authorities told WABC-TV that the smoke detectors in the building were working, but the fire spread so quickly that first responders did not have enough time to rescue the trapped victims.
Local officials have also said that the building, which was old, may not have been up to code.
The building was purchased four years ago by Okay Roger Realty of Brooklyn.
Investigators said that the victims tried to escape but the route was blocked by metal gates. The owners of the property were accused by locals of performing 'illegal conversions.'
Neighbors said the last inspection done on the property was four years ago.
Investigators said that the fire's quick spread was aided by cribs and other furniture items, making the store into a virtual tinder box.
According to witnesses, three police officers were blocks away from the building and desperately tried to reach the victims.
It took more than 100 firefighters some three-and-a-half hours to get the blaze under control.
'It was hard to control from spreading,' Elizabeth Fire Director Pat Byrnes said.
'We didn't see white smoke until an hour. It was constant black smoke, and we were putting lot of water on it.'