PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A family tragedy happened in Philadelphia’s Kensington section on Sunday. A fire in a townhouse 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 that the father who was 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 ashes 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 I do not want for anyone,” said Taina Juarve. “Because it hurts.”
A relative said the boys were aged 4,9,12.
Juarve says she went to John B. Stetson with the eldest.
“I did not believe it until I came outside and I saw everyone here and I saw them take things out of the house, burned,” Juarve said.
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The fire broke out around 2 a.m. Sunday morning. The flames were seen shooting out of both floors of the two-story townhouse.
The lone survivor was the boys’ mother, who neighbors say was pushed out of a window in safety by their father. The two have been inseparable since they were 13 years old.
“She had to jump out the window and my son grabbed her with a blanket and she was completely burned up, completely burned up on her body,” a neighbor said.
For firefighters in Philadelphia, fighting this fire was no easy task. From the intensity to the narrow street, they somehow had to find their way down.
“When they went in, they were able to start putting down the fire, get in, get upstairs. They were able to put their hands on one of the young people inside, unfortunately it was too late,” said the fire commissioner in Philadelphia, Adam Thiel.
Relatives tell Eyewitness News that the mother was taken to Temple University Hospital and released.
Lewis Elkin Elementary School, where one of her children went to kindergarten, the other in third grade, is determined to help.
“They are our babies,” said Charlotte Gillum-Maddox, principal at Lewis Elkin. “And on a Sunday, we’re here with the families working with them to make sure everything they receive is needed.”
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The school community has organized a fundraiser to help the family. click here to donate.