Authorities say a child and an elderly woman died when they were entrapped by flames in house fire in North Philadelphia.The blaze broke out around 12:30 Sunday morning on the 1200 block of West Firth Street.
The victims were identified by relatives as 79-year-old Ardalia Bumpus and her 4-year-old great granddaughter Nevaeh Bryant. Both were unable to escape and died.
Firefighters were met with heavy flames upon arrival. The home – located on a partial dead end made the blaze hard for crews to battle.
Crews brought the blaze under control within an hour. Fire officials say neighbors even helped to stretch hoses down the street.
“It was very precarious to navigate this block coming in from the 13th Street side. It is a partial dead end with a very sharp turn so the fire companies had to be very careful coming in,” said Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers.
Nevaeh’s parents escaped with her 13-month-old sister, Allura, who was in stable condition after being treated for smoke inhalation at St. Christopher’s Hospital.
One firefighter suffered a minor injury when a decorative beam fell on his head, but he’s expected to make a full recovery.
The elderly victim was known among the community and her family lived in the home for nearly 60 years.
Relatives say ‘Grandma Bumpus’ as she was affectionately called, always took care of her family.
Bumpus and her husband, who died in 2010, raised two daughters, four sons, along with helping many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even those who weren’t family.
“They fed anybody that was hungry. They clothed anybody and anything they could do to help they did,” said Ranalda Brown, granddaughter.
“My mother was great. She was great – the matriarch of the family and loved by everyone. A church woman – Christian all our life,” said Tommasine Adams, daughter.
Investigators believe the fire started in the kitchen but are still trying to figure out what sparked it.
Meanwhile the Red Cross is providing food and clothing to the surviving victims.