Young boy dies in Norristown fire, while rescuing his father

A fire official says one person is dead after an early morning fire tore through a town house in suburban Philadelphia. FOX 29 confirms that the deceased is a 12-year-old boy, Sanford Harling- who died while attempting to rescue his father. 

 “You only see this happening on TV never expect it to happen to one of our own,” Heather Hadrick, the victim’s aunt, said.

Marijah sobs uncontrollably, she played with her cousin 12 year old Sanford Harling all the time- and called him by his nickname Man Man.

“Man Man, he was so sweet- not going to be same without Man Man here.”

 The 7th grader at Lakeshore loved basketball and his family-

 Investigators say, he died, trying to save his dad who'd just had hip replacement surgery and was trapped upstairs here in the family's Norristown home. when the fire broke out on  the first floor Sanford ran back in to help his father.

“Me and another guy told him to jump no other way to get out.”

 Eventually Mr. Harling did jump, family members say- breaking his back in  the fall-  his wife and 2 other children escaped, but it was too late for Sanford, investigators say he got trapped in the kitchen area.

“Unfortunately we had a tragic tragic fire- resulted in  loss of  life.

  Wrapped in red cross blankets the devasted family hug each other for strength-and choke back tears. Sister raja, simply can't believe sanford is gone.

"He was an amazing person, my favorite peron i loved him to  death."

Norristown City Councilman Hakim Jones released an obituary for Sanford: 

"Born on June 6, 2003, Sanford, also known as “Man Man”, was only 12 [years] old and a member of our Norristown Youth Eagles football family. In 2015, he played on the 6th grade team. On the football field, Sanford could be seen cheering on his teammates and praying for them. Off the field, his personality was bright and comical.

"He is survived by his loving mother, Dana, his father Sanford, Jr., and his siblings. Our goal is to raise money to help the family recover what they lost in the fire and to give Sanford the proper burial that a hero deserves. We are hoping that our community will come together to ease this family’s pain during this difficult time. Any amount will help and 100% of the funds raised will go to the Harling family."

The Sanford Harling III Memorial Fund has been launched, with a gofundme at this link, in order to help out a family that has lost everything in the fire. 
Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In – includes Advertiser Stories