Child killed in South Philadelphia fire

August 13, 2009 2:44:56 PM PDT
Five people remain hospitalized and an 11-year-old girl is dead after fire swept through a row home in the 1900 block of Carpenter Street early Thursday morning.

Twelve people had been in the house just before 2:30 a.m. when fire broke out in a 2nd floor bedroom.

Even before firefighters brought hoses into the house, they ran in themselves. They were able to rescue a little boy who was trapped in a second floor bedroom. That little boy is being treated at St. Christopher's Hospital.

But when they got to the third floor, the made a tragic discovery.

Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers told reporters, "On the third floor, rear room we found a young child. We're not sure the age right now... a female and she is deceased."

The victim was 11-year-old N'Shay Harmon. N'Shay's 17-year-old sister, Ra'Shan, is at Jefferson University Hospital where she's being treated for injuries she suffered when she jumped from a window.

Two other victims are a Children's Hospital and a fifth victim is at Jefferson.

The home was being rented by N'Shay Harmon's mother, Sharonne Harris. Harris has 9 children - seven of whom were in the house last night.

Sharonne's friend and her three children had been staying with them because they had recently been evicted.

The house had smoke detectors, but they were in the basement and first floor and didn't activate as the smoke and flames swept upwards.

Fire investigators say the cause of the fire is accidental, sparked by a faulty air conditioner.