UPDATE: Two men were clinging to life with critical burns after firefighters rescued them from an overnight blaze that engulfed a Maplewood home.
The two-alarm fire broke out on a porch of the 2½-story wood-frame house on Essex Avenue, trapping three residents inside, around 3:20 a.m., responders said.
A candle left burning on the front porch apparently was to blame, fire officials said.
Police were first on the scene and got an elderly woman out, they said.
Firefighters located one of the men on the first floor and rescued the other from the second floor with a ground ladder.
Both were hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, responders said.
No firefighters were reportedly injured.
Fire officials and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office were notified.
Among the mutual-aid companies assisting either at the scene or in coverage were firefighters from Bloomfield, East Orange, Irvington, Montclair, Orange, South Orange, Union and West Orange.
Rob Munson took the photos and video and contributed to this account.
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