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Pregnant mom runs into burning home to save child; both die

  • City workers boarded up the scene of a fatal fire today in Philadelphia. A pregnant mother ran into her burning row house to rescue her toddler this morning but died along with the child when smoke prevented their escape, officials said. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHILADELPHIA » A pregnant mother ran back into her burning row house to rescue her toddler this morning but died along with the child when smoke prevented their escape, officials said.

The fire broke out around 4 a.m. in the city’s Fairhill neighborhood.

The woman initially escaped the blaze with other relatives but realized her toddler was missing, Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer said. She ran back inside to try to save the child.

She was found with the child in her arms near a second-floor bedroom doorway after heavy smoke and flames prevented them from getting out, Sawyer said.

The fire’s cause is under investigation, but five space heaters were found throughout the house. The home had no working smoke detectors, according to Executive Chief Clifford Gilliam.

Two adults and four children were taken to a hospital, where they are in stable condition, Gilliam said.

Someone in the house initially tried to extinguish the blaze on his own, Sawyer said.

“Because they were trying to fight the fire, it delayed everyone getting out,” he said.

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