Child victim of Port Richmond fire has died

June 23, 2010 12:22:59 PM PDT
One of the young boys injured in a fire Tuesday afternoon in Philadelphia has died.

Nicholas Budzilo, 3, died after suffering severe smoke inhalation, his aunt told Action News.

His brothers remain hospitalized at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children. 5-year-old Christopher Budzilo is also suffering from severe smoke inhalation, while 1-year-old Jake Budzilo is suffering from burns over 60% of his body.

Their aunt says Christopher opened his eyes Wednesday morning, but struggled.

Their grandfather, who helped the family get out of the house, is in critical condition on a ventilator. The boys' mother, Debbie Proud, is in stable condition. She is six months pregnant.

Debbie Proud was taken to Temple Hospital after the fire, but was brought to St. Christopher's to be with her children.

The boys' grandfather, Eugene Budzilo, helped rescue the family, and when firefighters arrived his hair was still smoking after catching on fire. At first he was said to have just minor burns, but was later placed on a respirator for smoke inhalation.

The fire happened around 2:10 p.m. Tuesday in the 2700 block of East Madison Avenue. A woman who was passing by saw the fire and called 911, then flagged down two bike patrol officers who were on special detail nearby.

Firefighters arrived to find heavy flames coming from the second floor and smoke throughout the home.

Debbie Proud and her boys were trapped on the second floor.

Those bike patrol officers, firefighters and paramedics worked together to help the family trapped by the blaze.

Firefighters were able to put the flames out in just 11 minutes and found working smoke alarms on the first floor and in an upstairs hallway. Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said those alarms may have given this family a fighting chance.

The cause of this fire is under investigation.