FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Raymond Worrall
PHONE: (201) 795-6400 Ext. 6737
DATE: Tuesday, March 7, 2017
INVESTIGATION OF UNION CITY FIRE CONTINUES
Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez released the following updated information:
The investigation into the origin and cause of the Union City apartment fire that resulted in the death of 1-year-old Eddie Gonzalez Jr. is continuing. Investigators from the Union City Police Department and the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor, who are being assisted by the NJ State Fire Marshals Office, were joined yesterday by the National Response Team of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as agents from the ATF Newark Field Division.
The NRT will now work with local investigators to reconstruct the fire scene, and attempt to identify the origin and cause of the fire. The NRT typically brings their state-of-the-art equipment and the most qualified ATF personnel available when they join local investigations.
NRT experts are veteran special agents who are certified fire investigators, forensic chemists, fire protection engineers, electrical engineers and forensic mapping specialists. The NRT also uses accelerant detection canine teams.
“Our office and our investigators welcome the expertise of the ATF National Response Team, and with their help, we hope to provide a proper and timely conclusion to this investigation for the sake of the community,” said Prosecutor Esther Suarez.
Union City Mayor Brian Stack added that “nothing will erase the pain of this tragedy, but hopefully the collective investigative effort will provide some answers and help to bring some closure.”
“This has been a traumatic event for our community,” said Union City Police Chief Richard Molinari. “The Union City Police Department and our law enforcement partners have been working diligently to obtain some answers, conclude this investigation and possibly prevent tragedies like this from happening.”
On Saturday, March 4, 2017, at approximately 1 a.m., the Union City Police Department received a 911 call reporting a fire on Summit Avenue in Union City. Police Officers responding to the fire found that all occupants of 1404 Summit Avenue were accounted for except Eddie Gonzalez Jr. After the fire was placed under control and investigators entered the building, they found that the child had died in the fire.
Eddie’s father, Eddie Gonzalez Sr., was injured in the fire and he remains in critical but stable condition in St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston.
There was significant fire, smoke and water damage to multiple residential buildings and businesses on Summit Avenue, as well as Saints Joseph and Michael Church on Central Avenue.
Anyone with information, pictures or video of the Union City fire is asked to contact the Union City Police Department at 201-348-5790 or the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor at 201-915-1345.