NORTH PHILADELPHIA (WTXF/AP) - A fire has claimed the lives of three people in North Philadelphia.
Family members of 9-year-old Pruedence, 7-year-old Dean and their 52-year-old grandmother Monique or "Nicki" Figueroa tell Fox 29 these were the ones lost in the tragic accident. The fire occurred around 4:30 a.m., engulfing the house in flames.
Philadelphia Firefighters say they made a daring rescue attempt and carried the 9-year-old girl out of the burning building. She later died at Hahnemann University Hospital.
The child's mom and her boyfriend were able to get out alive. But a couple hours later, firefighters say they found two more bodies on the third floor of the home: an adult and a child.
The grandmother, Nicki, is Paul Guillory's daughter.
“She was a wonderful person,” he told Fox 29. “She took care of them two children. I’m going to miss them like hell.”
“The grandmom loved them to death. 24/7 [she] would be with kids wherever she goes,” neighbor Joe Santiago told Fox 29.
The fatal fire has proven heartbreaking for an entire community.
The Philadelphia Fire Department is struggling to come to grips with back-to-back fatal fires. Last Sunday, a fire claimed the lives of three people in Wynnefield. On the same day, a second fire killed a woman in North Philadelphia. Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel says everyone needs to be proactive when it comes to fire safety.
“We just cannot do this alone,” Commissioner Thiel said. “We gotta have help. We are imploring everyone to take charge of your own fire safety.”
The commissioner is urging everyone to make sure they have working smoke alarms on each floor of their home. If a resident cannot afford them, they may call 3-1-1 to have someone will install the alarms for them.
It's too early to know if there were smoke detectors in this North Philadelphia home.
The fire department is expected to hold a press conference tomorrow on their investigation.