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Six dead as fire rips through New Jersey home

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[June 16, 2014]  NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fire ripped through a home in Newark, New Jersey, on Sunday killing six members of a family, officials said.

The blaze broke out around 4 a.m. EDT (0800 GMT), gutting the home and spreading to a house next door which was also damaged, according to the Newark Fire Department.

Once the blaze was extinguished, crews found six people dead inside the home, said Anthony Ambrose, chief of detectives at the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.

The prosecutor's office identified those killed as Salome Stewart, 58; her husband Reginald Stewart, 58; and Salome Stewart's sister Natasha Kinsale, 47. They all lived in the house.

Also killed were visiting family members Zion Forbes, 11, of East Orange, New Jersey; Noreen Johnson, 43, of Crawford, Georgia; and her son Stephon Sydney, 15, also of Crawford, the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

The cause of death are pending autopsies. The cause of the fire is under investigation, it said.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Robin Pomeroy, Stephen Powell and Chris Reese)

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