PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A family tragedy happened in Philadelphia’s Kensington section on Sunday. A rowhome fire left a father and his three sons dead.
Crews raced to the 3200 block of Hartville Street near Allegheny Avenue early Sunday morning. They found huge flames leaping from the first and second floors.
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Neighbors tell CBS3 the father killed in the fire jumped into action and ultimately saved his wife’s life.
Candles and flowers sit next to a pile of rubble and ash outside the home on Hartville Street.
The growing memorial is in memory of the father and three children who lost their lives in the fire.
“It’s something that I don’t wish on nobody,” said Taina Juarve. “Because it hurts.”
A relative said the boys were ages 4, 9 and 12.
Juarve says she went to John B. Stetson with the oldest.
“I didn’t believe it until I came outside and I saw everybody here and I saw them taking the stuff out of the house, burnt,” Juarve said.
The fire broke out around 2 am Sunday morning. The flames were seen shooting out of both floors of the two-story rowhouse.
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The lone survivor was the boys’ mother, who neighbors say was pushed out of a window to safety by their father. The two have been inseparable since they were 13 years old.
“She had to jump the window and my son grabbed her with a blanket and she was all burned up, all burned up on her body,” a neighbor said.
For Philadelphia firefighters, battling this fire wasn’t an easy feat. From the intensity to the narrow street, they had to somehow find their way down.
“As they went inside they were able to start to knock down the fire, get in, get upstairs. They were able to put hands on one of the juveniles inside, unfortunately, it was too late, “said Philadelphia fire commissioner Adam Thiel.
Relatives tell Eyewitness News the mother was taken to Temple University Hospital and released.
Lewis Elkin Elementary School, where one of her children was in kindergarten and the other in the third grade, is determined to help.
“They are our babies,” said Charlotte Gillum-Maddox, the principal at Lewis Elkin. “And on a Sunday, we are here with the families partnering with them to make sure that anything is needed that they receive.”
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The school community has organized a fundraiser to help the family. Click here to donate.