PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - Philadelphia firefighters responded to a fire that broke out just after 5 P.M. in the Morrell Park section of the city Thursday night.
A 5-year-old girl was pulled from her burning house in Northeast Philadelphia.
The girl and her mother are in critical condition after the fire swept through their home on the 3700 block of Hereford Lane.
“We have a report child trapped in the rear second floor." That was the chilling emergency dispatch blared out over the fire radio.
Neighbors on the block rushed to help as a mother tried to find her daughter in an upstairs bedroom.
“I called 911 right away. I told them their baby is trapped upstairs and the house was on fire,” said neighbor Lauren DiJoseph who lives across the street.
According to DiJoseph, "the little girls' mom kept running back in to try to get her and she kept running back in, just black head-to-toe. Covered in soot and she couldn’t even breathe.”
Both victims were airlifted to area hospitals in critical condition. A family friend tells Fox 29 that the 5-year-old girl was on a ventilator after suffering major smoke inhalation.
Fire officials say both on and off duty paramedic and off duty Philadelphia Police officers rushed inside the burning home but were turned away by flames and smoke. Moments later firefighters arrived and were able to get the little girl out.
“Fire rescue got her out a few minutes later and she was just lifeless when they brought her out,” said DiJoseph.
Investigators were looking into the cause of the fire that was contained to one home. Meanwhile firefighters were going door-to-door in the neighborhood making sure residents had working smoke detectors. It was unclear if this home had them.
“Anytime we have a residential fire we remind people working smoke detectors at least on every level of your home and ideally outside every sleeping area,” said Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel.
The Philadelphia Fire Department encourages anyone who doesn’t have a smoke detector to call the city’s 311 system and one will be delivered to you within 24 hours.
Neither the mother nor daughter have been identified. Philadelphia Police say the off duty officer who tried to help was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. He was listed as stable, according to police.According to fire officials, there is a fire in the Northeast section of Philadelphia.