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Authorities: Child Killed, 10 Others Injured In Camden House Fire

CAMDEN, NJ. (CBS) -- Fire officials say a young girl was killed and ten other people were injured in a house fire in Camden, New Jersey.

The two-alarm blaze sparked just after 11 p.m. Friday in a twin row home in the 1200 block of Morton Street.

"It was chaotic when companies arrived," said  Camden Fire Chief Michael Harper. "There were a lot of people out here and they had to do a lot of things to get into operation."

Family and friends identify the young victim as 4-year-old Laiyannie Williams, affectionately known as 'Taco.'

Laiyannie Williams
Four-year-old Laiyannie Williams (credit: Williams Family)

"She was a firecracker and loved life," a family member told Eyewitness News.

Officials say the fire began in the first floor living room and spread quickly, but they do not suspect foul play.

"We don't normally have a suspicious fire when you have occupied structures like this with that many people being at home. They did have working smoke detectors," said Harper.

Witnesses describe seeing flames shooting from the home, along with heavy smoke.

Melvin Perry, a family member who lives in the home, says he woke up to the flames and ran upstairs from the basement to get the six children inside to safety. Only five made it out.

"I was tossing the kids out of the window and they were caught below," Perry said.

Those five children were among ten people taken to Cooper University Hospital for treatment. There was no immediate word on their conditions.

Harper says crews tried to contain the fire to the one house, but the home right next door was damaged as well.

The American Red Cross is assisting four families displaced by the blaze.

Officials are still investigating what caused the fire.

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