Family of boy who died in Norristown house fire speaks

Norrsitown, Pa. (WTXF) It’s been a very long month for a Norristown family after they lost their son, Sanford Harling III in a house fire. His family is calling him a hero after he went running back in to save his father.

READ MORE: Young Boy Dies in Norristown Fire 

“I don’t know any other kid who would have taken that chance to run into a house with flames, burning to save his father's life or his mother's life,” said father, Sanford Harling II.

From the bed in a rehabilitation hospital in Havertown, 58-year-old Sanford Harling II can't shake the pain, the memory, the vision, the smell of a fire that claimed the life of his 12-year-old son last month.

In a twisted stroke of time, Sanford's son, whose nickname was Man Man, first ran out of the burning home in Norristown with other family members, but realized his father, who had just gone through hip surgery was stuck on the second floor.

"Somebody said they seen him run back in the house. I never did see him. He ran back in during the time I was jumping out of the window," his father explained.

"I wouldn't do it. He was a brave kid, a hero.  He just knew his dad was in there and then he went back in. That's the type of person he was," his mother, Dana Henderson, said.

Four weeks after the fatal fire, the elder Sanford is waiting for yet another surgery to repair the injuries from jumping out of the burning home. His wife and other children are living in a hotel room. They are grieving all the time trying desperately to make sense of a horrible moment in their lives.

"I truly believe God is going to help is get through whatever we have to go through. He'll be right there for us," said Sanford II.

Two weeks ago, Sanford III was recognized as a hero when Congressman Boyle issued a proclamation on the house floor.  His parents have been touched by the outpouring of support. The family's GoFundMe page is still active if you wish to donate.

“Sanford, I love you and you will always be my special hero,” his father said.

Up Next:


Thank you for visiting FOX29.com! Please click the survey link below to tell us about your experience.

FOX 29 Website Survey

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In – includes Advertiser Stories