House Fire Kills 8-Year-Old Boy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

An 8-year-old boy was killed early yesterday in a Whitemarsh Township house fire that sent six relatives to the hospital, police said.

The cause of the blaze, in the 400 block of Flourtown Road, was being investigated. The victims were not identified by police or fire officials.

Just after midnight yesterday, a neighbor heard screams and saw a soot-faced 5-year-old girl running from the home, police said. The neighbor flagged down Police Officer Steven Cline, who was on patrol.

Relatives told Cline that a boy was unaccounted for, and that a woman was trapped on the roof in the rear of the house.

Cline and Patrolman Rich Zadroga found a metal ladder in the yard and helped the woman down, police said.

When Detective Chris Ward and Fire Marshal Calvin Bonenberger arrived, they tried to go inside, but the heat and smoke prevented entry.

The four men broke out the first-floor bedroom windows trying to find the boy. A relative said the boy had been seen last on the second floor.

Firefighters found him under an upstairs bed. The boy was rushed to Chestnut Hill Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:16 a.m.

Four adults and two other children also were taken to Chestnut Hill Hospital. A man was in stable condition, and the rest were treated and released, a nursing supervisor said.

The Red Cross was helping the family with lodging, she said.

Patrolman Thomas Borkowski took the family dog to the Montgomery County SPCA, which sent it to Hickory Veterinary Hospital in Plymouth Meeting. The dog was resting yesterday and should survive, said a hospital worker who did not know its name or breed.