MORRIS TOWNSHIP — A raging fire has left a home destroyed and is believed to have killed two people.

Robert Ricciardi, 87, and Gemma Ricciardi, 85, are presumed dead after the inferno that consumed their mansion on Normandy Heights Road. Morris County Prosecutor Robert Carroll said the couple could not be found once fire crews brought the blaze under control.

Morris Township police and fire were alerted to the fire shortly before 3 a.m. early Friday morning. Carroll said that the intensity of the flames prevented several attempts by firefighters to enter and search for victims.

Helicopter video from CBS 2 New York showed the scope of the devastation. Almost the entire roof collapsed into the home.

Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Schmid said two victims' remains were pulled from the wreckage on Saturday afternoon. The Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office is working to confirm their identities. reported that Robert Ricciardi was the co-founder of the Ricciardi Brothers paint store chain. The couple's godson, Tommy Casanola, spoke with the local outlet later Friday.

“I have no words to say, except they were the two greatest people in the world, and they don’t make people like that anymore,” Casanola said. “They will be in my heart forever. Mr. and Mrs. Ricciardi were the nicest people in the world."

Investigators are still working to find the cause of the fire.

Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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