Authorities name grandmother and granddaughter as fatalities in fire at duplex home on Jill Court in Edison


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EDISON – A 56-year-old woman and her six-year-old granddaughter lost their lives in the fatal fire at fire at a duplex home on Jill Court, according to Middlesex County Acting Prosecutor Christopher L.C. Kuberiet and Police Chief Thomas Bryan.

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Kathleen O’Callahan, 56, and her 6-year-old granddaughter were identified by the Middlesex County Regional Medical Examiner’s Office, the prosecutor’s office said. The fire started at approximately 2:21 p.m. on Jan. 22 The family dog also died in the fire.

O’Callahan was pronounced dead at the scene. The child was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, but died shortly after due to her injuries, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Emergency personnel responded to Jill Court to battle the two-alarm fire, which caused extensive damage to the residence.

No firefighters or police officers were injured.

The Edison Fire Department, the Edison Police Department, the Middlesex County Office of the Fire Marshal and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office responded to the scene.

Edison Schools Superintendent Bernard Bragen posted a letter on the district website on Jan. 23 offering the district’s counseling services and guidelines for dealing with tragedies for students.

A Go Fund Me page – – has been set up for funeral expenses for O’Callahan and her granddaughter, which was set up through friends of O’Callahan’s daughter Shannon, mother of the six-year-old girl.

A pool tournament fundraiser will be held on Jan. 25 at Chestnut Inn, 1905 Woodbridge Ave., Edison.

The investigation is active and is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Frank Varga of the Edison Police Department at 732-248-7400, or Detective Sean Sullivan of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-745-4060.

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