Family loses everything in Southwest Philadelphia fire

- A local family is forced to start over again after a fire destroyed their home and all they had inside. 

You could drive by the boarded up rowhouse on the 2000 block of S. 58th St. in Southwest Philadelphia and barely notice the fire damage.

But for Phylicia Marshall the charred home represents a dream deferred.

"We just put our all into this property and are trying to set a foundation for our kids," she says while sitting on the front steps. "Now, I'm just really sad and hurt right now."

The smoke detectors still beep, five days after the fire that spread from the home next door and gutted the place purchased just a few months ago by Marshall and her fiancé, Jameel.

The couple lived here with their four children, aged 5 to 12. Now, little is left but scorched walks, broken furniture, defrosted food and charred ruins.

"My daughter's bike, my other daughter's bike, my son's bike. All of them, just burned," says Jameel as he tours the mess with FOX 29's Bruce Gordon.

Phylicia who is 8 months pregnant rushed the kids out of the house when her 6-year-old son noticed the smoke late Wednesday afternoon.

"He is a chronic asthma patient," she explained, "He had an asthma attack. They had to put him in the ambulance and then I went into active labor because I was so scared of what was going on."

Everyone got out safely, including two family dogs. The couple has insurance. In fact, the adjuster inspected the place Monday but it is unlikely the family will be made whole.

30-year-old Phylicia is a night student who is studying to become a teacher. She had hoped to open a home daycare out of this place after marrying Jameel next year.

For now, their plans are on hold.

A GoFundMe page has been setup for donations to help the family.

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