Boy who survived Phila. fire taken off life support

Pictured: Albert Blassengale

June 13, 2011 6:58:49 AM PDT
A 10-year-old Philadelphia boy has been removed from life-support after suffering smoke inhalation in a fire at his home.

Albert Blassengale's family took him off life support on Saturday, five days after he was pulled from the burning home in the city's Strawberry Mansion neighborhood.

The boy's father was injured trying to pull him from the flames. Neighbors put up a ladder and broke the window trying to release the smoke.

Blassengale's organs are being donated. Family members say the boy had previously told his father he'd want his organs donated if he died.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Albert's life remembered

Action News was in Strawberry Mansion as residents gathered Saturday night to remember the little boy.

The songs, the candles, the stuffed animals and balloons were all for Albert.

"I will never forget this," said Albert's father, Jerry.

His father is still recovering from facial injuries after he ran into the burning house Tuesday to try to save the boy.

Albert was pulled out, but it was too late. Doctors declared Albert brain dead on Friday.

"He was a born again Christian," said Jerry Blassengale. "He was baptized on Easter, and he gave his life to the Lord, so he's ready."

Outside Albert's burned out home, those who loved him prayed and shared stories about the child who impacted people from his church to his Boy Scout troop.

"Albert was a very loving, very giving child, he would give you before he would take care of himself," said Yvonne Cook.

Family and friends were not only holding the vigil to mourn the loss of Albert, they were also celebrating his life and the fact he'll be giving life after death.

The reason Albert was kept on life support is because he is an organ donor.

"I'm not losing him, I'm gaining him in so many different ways, because of him being an organ donor, and I'm going to see him in so many different faces," said Jerry Blassengale. "That's what he was about. That's why he was a good scout."