At least 16 persons died in residential fires nationwide on New Year's Day, and police in New Hampshire and New York City investigated New Year's Eve killings of three persons found in burning homes.

A woman, 32, and three children died in a Los Angeles apartment fire, and three persons died in a Wisconsin house fire. Other fires killed three in both Ohio and Illinois and one each in New York, Texas and Massachusetts.

Los Angeles homicide and arson investigators were inspecting a wood-and-stucco apartment complex to determine the cause of the predawn blaze there, authorities said. Metal security bars over the doors and windows delayed firefighters' entry by at least 10 minutes, they said.

The victims were identified as Rosalyn Jones and her children -- Antonio, 12, and Demetricus, 9. The relationship of the fourth victim, Ryan Nicole Craft, 3, was not known.

In Spring Valley, Wis., three members of the same family died in a blaze apparently started by a wood-burning stove. The victims were George Hasley, 63, his son Clark, 27, and Clark's son, Matthew, 3. Three others were injured.

Police in Manchester, N.H., found Holly Richards, 4, and her sister, Kelly, 9, dead in their burning home. The deaths were being treated as homicides and the fire as arson, they said.

In New York, Evelyn Ferris, 80, who died in a New Year's Eve blaze, was stabbed several times in the back and neck before the fire broke out, officials said.

A Christmas tree caught fire in an elevator in a Bronx housing project, killing a boy, 16, and critically injuring two other teen-agers trying to throw the tree away, authorities said.