Philadelphia A fire engulfed a dilapidated house early Sunday, killing a mother and four children who were staying in the home despite relatives' warnings that it was unsafe, officials said.
Firefighters found the victims unresponsive on a bed inside the West Philadelphia house's boarded-up second floor, Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said. Rescuers rushed to pass the victims out of windows and paramedics tried to revive them, he said.
Ayers did not name the victims - a 25-year-old woman and her children, a 6-year-old girl and three boys ages 1 1/2, 3 and 4.
The house was owned by the deceased mother of the woman and had been abandoned after her death. The young mother was living there despite safety warnings from family members, Ayers said.
The house's electrical wiring was rigged dangerously and it was choked with debris, he said.
The fire started around 3:20 a.m., Ayers said. Firefighters discovered the victims after pulling the plywood off the building to try to gain access, he said.