Overloaded electrical extension cords were responsible for a fire that killed a Feltonville mother and her three children last week, the Philadelphia Fire Department said Monday.
The blaze broke out because of the non-permanent electrical wiring around 1:30 a.m. last Thursday on the 4800 block of N. Palethorp St., fire officials said.
Neighbors could hear the screams of 33-year-old Rashidah Butts-Wilson and her family but no one could help as flames quickly engulfed the home.
The block captain and her three kids, 13-year-old Jamar Nobles, 11-year-old Minyan Wilson and 8-year-old Shaniay Patterson, were discovered in upstairs bedrooms.
Investigators say the only smoke detector in the house was in the basement, but it didn’t have batteries.
In the wake of the tragedy Mike Downey, who taught Jamar and Minyan, started a Facebook drive to collect 300 smoke detectors to be distributed in the area.
This deadly fire serves as a reminder to the public to have working smoke alarms on each floor of the home and to have a "fire escape plan," fire officials said.
Homeowners, landlords and renters should also make sure to avoid placing multiple plugs and extension cords into outlets and check cords for wear, according to officials.
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