Teen Boy Dies in Row Home Fire

A teenage boy who suffered from autism was killed after a fire broke out at a row home in the Logan section of the city.

The fire started at a home on the 4800 block of North 9th Street Monday afternoon.

"The flames kept on getting bigger and bigger," said Joseph Pleisir, a witness.

Family members say 13-year-old Niem Denby, was trapped inside one of the rowhomes along with two other children as the fire spread to three other units. Family members say Denby was autistic and had the mind of a toddler.

"His aunt was in there," said Danielle Smith, a family friend. "She was in there and got two of them out. Niem is mentally challenged so she went back to go get him and he snatched away. My son came in and tried to kick the windows and get them but it was too much smoke so they couldn't get him out of there."

While the firefighters rescued the two children, by the time they got Denby out, he was unresponsive.

"I saw injuries by his head," Pleisir said. "Some kind of burn and the child was unconscious."

The teen was taken to the Einstein Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 6:55 p.m.

The fire was placed under control around 5:36 p.m. Officials have not yet revealed the cause.

Red Cross officials are assisting two families and five people who were also affected in the fire.

Contact Us