updated 9/8/2008 4:18:06 PM ET 2008-09-08T20:18:06

Three bodies were found after a house fire Monday morning and a fourth person died later, and at least two of them had been shot, authorities said.

The fire caused extensive damage to the three-story wood frame house near the Newark-Irvington border.

"It's a horrific crime scene," Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow said. "We have multiple victims and a fire that looks like a cover-up."

Police said at least one of the three people whose bodies were found in the burned house had been shot. She was identified as 13-year-old Latrisha Fields-Carruthers.

Dow said 18-year-old Zakiyyah Jones died Monday afternoon after being taken to University Hospital in Newark for treatment of a gunshot wound to the head.

Dow said the other two victims were severely burned and was not clear if they, too, had been shot.

Neighbors said they heard an argument and gunshots before the fire broke out around 7:45 a.m.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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