TEANECK — A fatal fire in the basement apartment of a home on Feb. 19 was started when one of the victims set himself on fire.

The fire broke out just after midnight in the house on Palisades Avenue, trapping three people in the basement, according to Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella.

Firefighters broke a window to reach the trapped man and two women, ABC 7 Eyewitness News reported.

Ranjodh Singh IV, 35, died the night of Feb. 19 and Manjinder Kaur, 44, died the next day. Manjit Kaur, 47, remains hospitalized in serious condition for treatment of severe burns at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston.

Firefighters respond to a house fire on Palisade Avenue in Teaneck 2/19/24
Firefighters respond to a house fire on Palisade Avenue in Teaneck 2/19/24 (Teaneck Fire Department)

Families broken

Musella on Friday said an investigation determined Singh used an accelerant to set himself on fire. The fire spread rapidly trapping all three before exiting the basement on their own.  Musella did not disclose a motive for Singh's action.

On a GoFundMe page created by Rajinder Singh, Singh's mother, he says he is married to Manjt Kaur. Manjinder Kaur also has a son and was a single parent.

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