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3 Dead, Including ICU Nurse, in a NJ House Fire That Police Think Was Murder-Suicide

Lois Oladejo
May 06, 2021
04:40 P.M.
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A New Jersey nurse turned up dead this week following a house fire that claimed at least three lives. Evidence gathered at the scene suggests the fire was set intentionally in a murder-suicide attempt.

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Three people died on Monday evening following the incineration of a house in New Jersey. One of the victims, Katherinne Gutierrez, was an ICU nurse and one of the frontline personnel in the battle against COVID-19.

The police in New Jersey believe the incident was a double murder-suicide. Neighbors at the Wayne, NJ neighborhood reported perceiving gas from the building moments before the fire broke out.

Photo of a firefighter in front of a fire. | Photo: Pixabay

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Neighbors also reported hearing a loud explosion inside the house around that time. Firefighters arrived at the scene shortly after and took the necessary actions to extinguish the fire.

Upon gaining access to the building, they discovered Katherinne's charred body and the bodies of the two other victims in the burned property.

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Although the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office is yet to identify the inferno victims, a neighbor identified them as Katherinne, her dad, Carlos Guitierrez, and her boyfriend. The family reportedly moved to the neighborhood from Chile.

The Passaic County Prosecutor's Office confirmed that the fire broke out at about 6:15 pm at the home located at 121 Jackson Avenue.

Nurse Emily Grigsby stayed behind with her family to oversee the welfare of the elderly.

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Investigating officers are yet to ascertain the cause of the fire. However, sources revealed to news outlets that detectives uncovered evidence suggesting someone intentionally started the fatal blaze that claimed the trio's lives.

In a GoFundMe campaign set up to raise funds for Katherinne's funeral, the nurse was described as an amazing person who made people laugh, made friendships, and advocated for her patients. She left behind a 4-year-old daughter.

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Katherinne was a nurse working at the Hackensack Meridian Health System, while her dad worked for a landscaping company.

The family matriarch was out of town when the house caught fire, sources confirmed. Describing the incident, a neighbor shared:

"It wasn't like something caught fire and it was building. It was an explosion and a massive wall of fire."

Firefighters respond to a fire emergency. | Photo: Getty Images

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Another fatal incident took place in Florida last month, claiming the life of a 21-year-old aspiring nurse. Reports obtained showed that the woman, who was traveling in the front passenger seat of a car, was in the line of fire during a shootout to protect her 1-year-old infant.

She died at the hospital from gunshot wounds sustained, while the baby and her 2-year-old daughter present in the backseat survived the attack without injuries.

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In February, another nurse received accolades for her selfless service to her community amid the Winter Storm Uri in Texas, while many evacuated the neighborhood due to the prolonged power outage and scarce water supply.

Nurse Emily Grigsby stayed behind with her family to oversee the welfare of the elderly and the invalid in the community. Through such good deeds to humanity, many frontline workers have proved themselves heroes in their little ways.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.

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