A mother and her teenage son died early Wednesday morning as flames engulfed their row home in Philadelphia’s Point Breeze neighborhood.
Crews responded to the 2200 block of Pierce Street around 12:40 a.m. to find heavy smoke billowing from the first and second floors of the house. Neighbors described scenes of panic and chaos as the fire burned and claimed the lives of the 39-year-old woman and 14-year-old boy.
“It was frightening to see because I hadn’t seen a fire for years on this block,” one neighbor told NBC10. He added that the mother was known for distributing lunches to neighborhood kids over the summer.
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Another neighbor, Asha Downing, described the family of four as “genuinely good people” who were quick to lend a hand.
“The son was so sweet and so caring and always willing to help any way he could. And the mom was pretty much the same, always willing to go the extra mile and make sure that she spoke to my children, and to give when she could and help other people,” she said.
Downing said the woman and her son lived in the home with the woman’s husband and young daughter.
The girl was also taken to an area hospital, but her condition was not immediately known.
Firefighters extinguished the blaze shortly after 1 a.m. The cause of the fire was not immediately known.