JERSEY CITY — An 11-year-old girl tried to save her baby brother from a townhouse fire on Wednesday night but both children perished, officials said.

Firefighters arriving on Martin Luther King Boulevard around 11:30 p.m. encountered a a woman with her 6-year-old son who had escaped to the street.

The mother was screaming about her two other children who were trapped on the second floor, which had thick black smoke coming from the windows, police told RLS Metro Breaking News.

By the time rescuers reached the children, the older child was already dead and the infant was seriously injured and unconscious, police told RLS. The baby was pronounced dead at 12:24 a.m. at Jersey City Medical Center.

Police said that the older child had been on the first floor where the fire is believed to have started. The child then went to the second floor to try to find the 8-month baby, police said.

"The whole house was on fire, the whole house was burning. I mean, bad flames. The police has to run us over this way, so that way they could try to contain the fire, and they were up on top,” a resident told told CBS New York.

Three police officers suffered smoke inhalation, police told ABC 7 Eyewitness News.

The Hudson County Regional Arson Task Force is investigating the cause of the fire.

EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story should have said that the older child died before the baby was pronounced dead. 

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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