(VitalNews.org) – On the morning of January 13, a fire broke out at a home in Monmouth County, New Jersey, with Jacqueline Montanaro, her husband William, and their two little girls inside. Sadly, Mrs. Montanaro, a supervisory officer with US Customs and Border Protection, and their youngest daughter Madelyn ultimately didn’t make it out alive.
On January 16, NJ.com reported that Mr. Montanaro woke up after hearing fire alarms that fateful morning. With the house quickly going up in flames, he made his way outside with his wife and their 8-year-old daughter, Elena. That’s when they discovered 6-year-old Madelyn was still in the home. Both parents rushed back in to save the little girl.
Husband of fallen officer says wife died in unsuccessful attempt to rescue daughter in house fire https://t.co/k8RJfzVYjv
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 16, 2023
Mr. Montanaro was fortunate enough to make his way back outside, but his wife and daughter weren’t so lucky. The pair were retrieved from the home and given life-saving measures, but they later died in hospital.
In the wake of the horrific tragedy, the grieving father made a statement to the public through his brother, NPR’s Senior Political Editor Domenico Montanaro. William Montanaro praised his late wife for her bravery in running back into the burning building to try and save their daughter. He called her a “hero,” saying he was “heartbroken” to have lost her and his beautiful child.
The dad said he’s going to now put all his effort into helping Elena deal with the loss of her mother and sister while trying to “rebuild” their lives, according to Fox News. He said there is still an ongoing search for the family dog, Duchess. Neighbors and friends have been joined by the Hazlet Police Department and the Hound Hunters organization to look for her.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. However, spokesman Christopher Swendeman told the NJ Advance Media that officials don’t believe the blaze was suspicious in any way.
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