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New Jersey fire kills two, 2 unaccounted for

By Chris Kokenes, CNN

New York (CNN) -- Firefighters were sifting through debris Wednesday morning after a three-alarm fire ripped through three homes in Paterson, New Jersey leaving two people dead and at least two people unaccounted for.

The fire, first reported at 2:41 a.m. ET at 465 E. 31st, destroyed a home which collapsed and quickly spread to two neighboring houses causing significant damage, fire officials said.

Four people were transported to a local hospital, where one person died and one person remains in critical condition, according to hospital officials.

Paterson Deputy Fire Chief Scott MacGilvray later said a body had been found in the ruins, bringing the death toll to two people.

The cause of the fire is not known and is under investigation, MacGilvray told CNN.

"We're bringing in heavy equipment and dogs and will complete searches as safely and quickly as possible", said MacGilvray.

Over 70 firefighters from Paterson, Clifton and Passaic, New Jersey, were brought in to battle the fire which was brought under control at 5:30 a.m.

Eleven people have been displaced and are seeking assistance from the Red Cross.