South Plainfield Fire Chief Thomas Scalera says by the time firefighters arrived early Thursday, flames were so intense that they could not access the second floor even with ladders.
The chief says firefighters remain "very somber" because they weren't able to rescue the children. He says it was South Plainfield's mostly deadly fire on record.
Relatives say the fifth victim was the children's grandmother. The children's mother and three other children escaped the blaze. The fire chief says only one of the injured victims remains hospitalized.