Northeast Philadelphia

Mom's Ex Turns Self in to Police After Fire Leaves Kids, Grandma Hospitalized

Philadelphia Firefighters rescued a woman and her grandchildren form a burning Bridesburg row home early Wednesday

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A man turned himself in to Philadelphia police following a fire that investigators believe was intentionally set and left two children and their grandmother hospitalized.

Police said they believe the fire, which gutted the home on Kennedy Street in the Bridesburg neighborhood around 2 a.m. Wednesday, could be related to a "domestic" situation, and they were investigating whether the ex-boyfriend of the children's mother was involved.

The mother, Karrine Mahaffey, told NBC10 that when the fire began, she was at the police station filing a restraining order against her ex, who had been threatening her for days.

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“He called and he said, ‘If you don’t want to be with me, there’s consequences for your actions.’ That was right before the fire.”

Firefighters used ladders to rescue Mahaffey’s two children – a 10-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl – who were hanging from second-floor windows and yelling for help, a deputy fire chief at the scene said.

They were rushed to a children's hospital where both were listed in stable condition.
Firefighters also rescued the 56-year-old grandmother through the front door of the home and rushed her to the hospital in critical condition, suffering from smoke inhalation.

“My daughter has a breathing tube. My mother-in-law is in critical condition. This isn’t fair. It’s not fair," Mahaffey said.

A high-level source within the Philadelphia Police Department said Mahaffey's boyfriend turned himself in Wednesday morning, but no charges were immediately announced.

Inspectors said the family's home, and the one next door, remained too unstable for people to enter.

“It’s scary. What am I supposed to do now? We have nothing, nothing," Mahaffey said.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline online and by calling 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). You can also text with someone from the hotline be texting "START" to 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

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