Four people – including three children – were killed when a fire tore through a Philadelphia rowhouse that didn’t have working smoke detectors Sunday morning, officials and reports said.
A 38-year-old woman was hospitalized after she jumped out a window of the two-story home to escape the blaze on Hartville Street in the Kensington neighborhood, ABC 6 News reported.
“Despite an aggressive interior attack by firefighters, four people did not survive; three of them were children,” Philadelphia Fire Department spokesperson Kathy Matheson said in a statement.
The adult who died in the fire had urged the woman to “jump out the window,” according to a neighbor who called the man his best friend.
“He told her … jump out the window and I’m gonna grab the kids but that was his last words,” Angel Rivera told ABC.
“Life is short, so if you do got kids out there, hug them, treasure them — cause you never know.”
Philadelphia firefighters responded to the blaze at just after 2 a.m. Sunday morning and found “heavy fire coming from both floors” of the house and placed it under control within a half-hour, the statement said.
More than 60 PFD personnel responded to the fire, according to the statement. The Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the fire and the Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the causes of death, Matheson said.
The department tweeted a photo of firefighters at the scene and called it “a devastating morning in Kensington.”
“Please keep the community and our members in your thoughts,” the tweet said.
The incident follows a massive January fire in a city-owned row home in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood that killed 13 people, including 7 children.