Two children are dead, an infant is in critical condition, and three other people are hospitalized after an early-morning house fire Saturday in Philadelphia’s Grays Ferry section, according to authorities.
Firefighters responded to the blaze on the 1500 block of South 30th Street around 1:15 a.m., said Kathy Matheson, a Fire Department spokesperson. Six people were inside the rowhouse as an intense fire burned on the first floor.
At least one person jumped out of a window as firefighters worked to rescue those inside, Matheson said.
Police said a 3-year-old boy was found dead in the house. Officers and medics took the five other residents to hospitals, where one of those victims, a 10-year-old girl, was later declared dead.
A 9-month-old girl remained hospitalized Saturday in critical condition suffering from severe burns and smoke inhalation, police said.
The others hospitalized were a 24-year-old woman and a 30-year-old man, each in stable condition with burns and smoke inhalation, and another man, whose age police did not provide, who was in critical condition, police said.
Officials did not identify the victims.
The fire was placed under control at 1:57 a.m., according to Matheson.
“We’re hurting from this,” Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel told reporters at the scene. “It’s just tragic.”
Teriek Barnes, 26, who lives across the street, said he was first alerted to the blaze by hearing glass shatter as it picked up intensity. Barnes said he then looked outside and saw a woman jump out of a first-floor window. He ran out to help her cross the street and sit on the steps of his house.
Barnes said the woman’s husband and a little girl from inside were also able to make it out, but they told him there were several other people still inside, including two children. Barnes tried to run to the back of the house to help get them out, but the smoke was too thick. A window shattered, and glass struck him in the shoulder and face, he said.
Firefighters then arrived. Barnes said he was taken to the hospital because he had inhaled so much smoke.
He said he did not know the people who lived in the house, but he was heartbroken for them and their children.
“This is a traumatic experience,” he said. “It’s something no one should ever have to go through.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.