3 found dead days after North Philadelphia fire ID'd

EMBED </>More Videos

3 found dead days after North Philly fire ID'd. Annie McCormick reports during Action News at 11 on March 24, 2018. (WPVI)

The three people who were found dead several days after a fire in North Philadelphia have been identified.

They are 3-year-old Haashim Johnson; his mother, 25-year-old Alita Johnson; and her father, 64-year-old Horace McOuellem.

Pictured: Horace McOuellem, Alita Johnson and Haashim Johnson



The fire erupted in a building, described by officials as an illegal boarding house, in the 1800 block of North 21st Street on Tuesday.

One person was found dead at the scene at that time. However, the other three victims were not discovered until Friday, following a search prompted by calls to the fire marshal from concerned family members.

"I had to call 10 people to get them to do a search," said cousin Laleeha Cephas.

"We get here and they say 'she's not in there, she's not in there," said cousin David Berrian.

At the scene on Friday night, officials said the two-alarm blaze caused the third floor to collapse.

"In the wake of the collapse there was no access from the second floor to the third floor, so we were unable to get to the third floor," said Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel.

EMBED More News Videos

More bodies found at scene of fatal fire earlier this week .Trish Hartman reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on March 23, 2018.



Fire officials said they used ladders to check the building but found no one on Tuesday. However, because of the family's calls, they arrived Friday night with a special team to hold up the structure. That's when they made the discovery.

However, records did not show the rowhome had multiple units.

"We don't keep track of people when we don't know who lives in a home, and when a building is an illegal boarding house it's particularly difficult for us to understand who is living in the building and who is not," said Thiel.

The person who was found dead on Tuesday was not related to the other victims.

------
Send a News Tip to Action News
Learn More About 6abc Apps
Related Topics:
philly newsfireNorth Philadelphia
(Copyright ©2018 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.)