Neighbors Rescue Children From Frankford Rowhome Fire

Neighbors Rescue Children From Frankford Rowhome Fire

Posted: Updated:
The fire was reported on the 5200 block of Hawthorne Ave where a home was occupied while the incident happened. The fire was reported on the 5200 block of Hawthorne Ave where a home was occupied while the incident happened.
PHILADELPHIA - Tragedy averted, when a mid-morning fire gutted a rowhouse in Philadelphia's Frankford neighborhood. Neighbors sprang into action to save the lives of two young children trapped inside that home.

Fox 29’s Bruce Gordon reports.

Rowhouse fires often don't look like much: some scorched brick or melted siding.

Firefighters usually extinguish the flames within minutes, but these fires can be deadly, especially if children are inside asleep.

That was the scenario on the 5200 block of Hawthorne Street this morning, but a potentially deadly ending to this story, was altered by some heroic young women.

"We got them out, okay," rescuer Tricia Tilson said.

Mozell Boozer said she'd received a frantic phone call while at work telling her that her Hawthorne Street home was burning, with her young son and daughter inside.

She arrived home fearing the worst, as she spied the blackened brick of her two-story rowhouse.

However, 9-year-old Robert was safe and sound, wrapped in a sweater, while paramedics checked him out.

And 8-year-old Delneisha was crying, but she, too, was okay.

The kids and their babysitter were asleep upstairs, when they were awakened by smoke and fire from the first floor.

Darlisa Norris was visiting her friends on the block, Karima Whitmore, and Tricia Tilson.

They smelled the smoke and came running.

"And we all just started kicking the door, you know, just kicking and kicking and kicking till we got the door open," Darlisa Norris said. "The kids were already hanging out the windows, screaming for our help and crying and stuff. So we were trying to climb up the walls to get them out because when we kicked the door open, the smoke and fire was already spreading very bad."

Whitmore shared a few scary moments from the rescue.

"She was almost up the wall, trying to get them out the window, so I climbed up behind her to try to help her. Because if she would have come out that window, and we tried to catch her, we would have all fallen together," Karima Whitmore said.

Rescuer Tilson said they wouldn't rest until they got the children out of the burning house.

"I felt helpless. I'm not going to just sit there and try nothing. We're going to try everything possible to get them out of that house," Tricia Tilson said.

Sabria, the babysitter, escaped out a second floor rear window.

The rescuers abandoned their plan to scale the front wall, but did manage to coax the kids downstairs and out the broken front door.

An hour later, Robert was all smiles.

Delneisha was still shaken up, comforted by the women, who had saved her life.

"I’m happy they're out safe," Norris said.

The rowhouse is gutted, but Boozer and her kids will be able to stay with relatives.


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