grays ferry

Despite Desperate Rescue Attempt, 10-Year-Old and 3 Year-Old Killed in Fire

One victim jumped out of a window to escape

NBC Universal, Inc.

Despite rescue efforts by Philadelphia firefighters and desperate neighbors, two children were killed in a rowhome fire in Philadelphia's Grays Ferry neighborhood early Saturday.

The fire was reported at about 1:15 a.m. Saturday at a home in the 1500 block of South 30th Street. Firefighters responded within two minutes, but the row home was consumed by fire when they arrived.

Fire crews rescued two people from the home, but one of those rescued, a ten-year-old girl with severe burns, died at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Firefighters found another child, a three-year-old boy, dead inside the home.

The fire led to a show of support from community members, including a youth pastor who knew one of the children. Neighbors are in talks to host a vigil in the coming days.

Four people are still hospitalized: One man who is in critical condition with soot and smoke inhalation; and a 24-year-old woman with burns and a 30-year-old man with burns and smoke inhalation, both of whom are in stable condition.

Later Saturday, one adult and a nine-month-old child were still hospitalized in critical condition.

Neighbors said a family -- two parents and several young children -- had lived in the home for about a year. The children were frequently seen playing on the street.

Officials haven't released the identities of the victims yet.

One of the neighbors said her son helped in the rescue. "My son had the mother, in his arms, literally, carrying her across the street from her house," said Naukel Barnes. "He sat her down on the step next to me and went to go run to see if he could go through the back."

But flames shot through the back of the home. "There was no way for us to get inside at all," Barnes said.

Neighbors tried to save a family trapped inside a burning rowhome in Grays Ferry early Saturday, but two children perished. NBC10's Katy Zachry spoke to a neighbor who tried to help.

It's not yet known if the home had working smoke detectors.

"It's really important to have smoke alarms in your home, on every floor," said Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel at the scene. "Please help us help you. Remember that fire is everyone's fight."

The American Red Cross is helping a family of eight from a nearby home with temporary housing and other needs.

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