Watch CBS News

Pregnant Mom, Child Killed In West Kensington House Fire

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Officials say a mother and her child are dead and six others were injured in a house fire early Friday morning in West Kensington.

The blaze was reported around 4 a.m. in the 2800 block of North 4th Street.

(Credit: CBS 3)

Fire commissioner Derrick Sawyer says the mother -- who was eight-months pregnant -- actually got out safely, then went back inside to rescue her son:

"It's not a pretty sight, to see her holding her child in her arms."

fire victims 2
(credit: family of the victims)

Among the six people who made it out alive, four of them were children.

Sawyer says there were five space heaters being used inside the home, and he suspects that's what sparked the fatal blaze.

This was the first fatal fire in Philadelphia of 2016.

Fire officials were out in the neighborhood trying to ensure that other residents were doing all they could to prevent a similar tragedy by making sure residents had working smoke detectors and knew how to properly use space heaters, which may have been the cause of Friday's tragic fire. Lt. Michael

Lt. Michael Senski tells CBS 3 Eyewitness News that the neighborhood has a large Spanish-speaking community, and that a language barrier has made it tough.

"They don't quite understand what we're trying to do, and we're trying to help them get smoke alarms into their house so they are safe if there is a fire."

Senski says in addition to working smoke detectors, having an escape plan in place is vital. "It makes a big difference. If there's a fire in your house and you get woken up in the middle of the night and you don't know what to do or how to do it, you start to panic," he said. "People start to panic and they're not sure how to get out of their house."

Fire Investigators say it appears the home didn't have any working smoke detectors, and five space heaters were being used at the same time.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.