14-year-old boy with autism dies after Logan fire

A 14-year-old boy with autism has died after being pulled from a fire in the Logan section of Philadelphia.
February 17, 2014 8:38:31 PM PST
A 14-year-old boy with autism has died after being pulled from a fire in the Logan section of Philadelphia.

The fire was reported around 5:00 p.m. Monday in the 4800 block of North 9th Street.

Firefighters found heavy fire coming from the first floor of one of the homes and learned that the teen was trapped inside.

"They encountered heavy fire upon their arrival and they made a very aggressive attack and they were able to make that rescue," said Captain Clifford Gilliam, Philadelphia Fire Department.

The victim, identified by relatives as Niem Denby, died at Albert Einstein Medical Center.

Niem's uncle says his sister was watching the child and his two siblings when the fire started.

"She saw some smoke in the bedroom, she came downstairs and opened the porch door and a huge flame and a lot smoke was coming off the porch," said Dewey Denby.

Family members say he had autism and had the mind of a 3 year old.

"Niem was mentally challenged so she went in there to go get him and he snatched away. My son came and kicked the windows to go get him but there was too much smoke," said Danielle Smith, relative.

Relatives say Niem lived in the home with his grandparents and siblings who are all devasted by his death.

"We all know he is in a better place right now. All we can do is pray right now," said Denby. The flames damaged a total of three homes before it was brought under control.

No one else was injured. About a dozen people were displaced and the Red Cross is assisting those reisdents.

As for the cause of the fire, it is still under investigation.


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