Mother dies from injuries in NJ fire that killed daughters, friend

A mother has died from injuries she suffered in a commercial building fire last week that killed her two young daughters and the girls' friend, along with another woman.

Merlyn Vasquez, 36, died Thursday at a hospital, three days after the fire occurred in Elizabeth. Her death was confirmed Tuesday by a city spokeswoman.

The fire apparently started in a ground-floor business and quickly spread to a second-floor furniture store where the victims were found, authorities have said. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but officials have said it may have started in a soda machine in the ground-floor business.


Vasquez's daughters —Daniela Marquez, 8, and Paola Marquez, 10 — died in the fire, along with their friend, Elizabeth Correas, 11. Another woman, Candida Martinez-Del Reyes, 41, was also killed, but it's not clear if she was related to any of the other victims.

Friends have said Marquez's family had immigrated from El Salvador last year and lived in Elizabeth.

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