Officials Find Cause of Fatal Port Richmond Fire

Port Richmond fire that killed toddler, injured family, caused by overused extension cord

As three members of the Budzilo family remain hospitalized after a devastating June 22 fire in Port Richmond, officials have finally discovered the cause of the blaze.

Philly Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers announced June 25 that the fire, which killed a toddler and destroyed the family’s 2-story row home, started from an overheated extension cord.

The fire occurred on the 2700-block of Madison Street during the early afternoon.

According to fire officials, the hot extension cord sparked a flame on the 2nd floor of the Budzilos’ house.

The resulting fire critically injured family members.

Rescuers rushed the victims -- three young boys, their pregnant mother, and their grandfather -- to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children June 22.

On June 23, 3-year-old Nicholas Budzilo died due to smoke inhalation. He and his older brother Christopher had been stuck in the flames on the 2nd floor during the fire.

Five-year-old Christopher and 1-year-old Jake Budzilo, as well as their grandfather Gene, are still in the hospital.

Now at Temple University Hospital, fifty-year-old Gene Budzilo is in critical condition.

The boys’ mother Debbie has been released as of June 23.

If you are interested in donating to the family's memorial fund, you can send money to Beneficial Savings Bank (care of the Budzilo family) on 254 Aramingo Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 19125.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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