Child Dies in Pennsylvania Fire

A one-alarm house fire after daybreak this morning killed a 7-year-old boy, police and fire officials said.

The blaze, reported at 5:54 a.m, erupted inside a 3-story store and apartments on the West Mount Airy side of the 6300 block of Germantown Avenue.

Firefighters drew up on the scene within three minutes, finding heavy smoke and flames on the second floor. The structure is a free-standing building, fire officials said.

The dead boy, who was identified as Joshua Foster, 7, lived on the second floor. His mother and a female child were able to escape. A family that included three children who live on the third floor also escaped, as did the building's owner - who lived in the first-floor rear of the property.

A Fire Department spokesman said the origin of the blaze was electrical, starting in a fan in the second-floor apartment where the dead boy lived.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

The fire is the second residential blaze in two days to kill a Philadelphia youngster.

Sunday morning, a fast-moving Kensington house fire killed five young children.