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Community Devastated After 7-Year-Old Boy Dies In Newark House Fire: 'It Hurts Real Bad'

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A 7-year-old boy was killed in an early morning house fire Thursday in Newark.

The flames broke out around 5 a.m. inside a three-story home on Astor Place near Pennsylvania Avenue.

CBS2's Natalie Duddridge spoke with Gabi Carvalho, who lives next door and said she woke up to the sound of people calling for help.

"I was sleeping and I [heard] a man telling, 'Get out, get out, get out!'" she said. "And a woman -- I don't know if it was a woman, because I was nervous as well -- and a woman said, 'I can't, I can't!'... Kids screaming, people screaming."

Newark deadly fire
A young boy was killed in a house fire early Thursday morning in Newark. (Credit: Citizen)

Police said the little boy was trapped on the third floor. His father escaped the home and tried to climb onto the roof to rescue his son, but couldn't get to him.

"He came up the back. He tried to come up the roof and come from my window to probably get his son from the top, but I guess he couldn't," resident Massad Scrand said.

The Essex County prosecutor's office said the child, whose name has not been released, was found by firefighters, but it was too late.

"When you lose somebody, it hurts real bad," neighbor Joseph Morris said. "I know the father was all messed up."

Authorities said two adults and three other children were taken to University Hospital for treatment.

A man who owns a deli across the street said the family just moved to the neighborhood a few months ago.

"I'm real sad, that family, I know. They come in here like five, six times every day," said Elsido Frias.

"It's going to take a while for them to get through this. They're going to need a lot of help," Morris added.

The fire also spread to two adjoining homes. In total, three families were moved into temporary housing.

"We have no idea how it started. All we heard was the people screaming," resident Andre Hepburn said.

Amid the pain, there was one bright spot. A cat residents thought was gone finally showed up.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

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