By Al Novack, Walt Hunter, David Madden, Diana Rocco
CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) — Two children have been killed and a young boy is in critical condition in a two-alarm fire that broke out early Wednesday morning at a home in Chester, Delaware County.
Authorities say the fire broke out at about 6:30 a.m. in the 900 block of East 15th Street and quickly struck a second alarm after reports of entrapment.
The fire claimed the lives of two girls, identified as 6-year-old Bella McKnight and 9-year-old Amajahy Ferguson by sources, and left a four-year-old little boy, identified as Moses McKnight by sources, with life-threatening injuries. The four-year-old was transported for Crozer Chester Medical Center for treatment. Sources say he suffered burns to 70 percent of his body.
Officials say two adults and three other children were rescued from the home.
Mike Earnest, who lives two doors down, says he saw the fire from his bedroom window and raced to help the owner of the burning residence:
“He went in twice and each time he brought out some of the kids, but upon trying to go in the third time he could not find them. There was too much black smoke.”
Five firefighters were also among the injured. Officials say four of the firefighters had to be transported to area hospitals for treatment. Their injuries are said to be minor.
On Wednesday night, family gathered with candles and tears for the two little girls, cousins killed in the fast moving house fire.
The family had been busy planning Amajahy a 10th birthday set for Saturday.
“We lost two precious little ones, they were very smart girls. They will be missed,” said grandmother Teresa Ferguson. “They’re there one day and not there the next morning. It’s hard.”
Investigators say the blaze began on the first floor in the rear of the two story house. The Delaware County Fire Marshall’s Office is investigating the cause of fire and say smoke detectors were in the home and working at the time the fire started.
Neighbors are organizing a relief effort for those who survived.
Stay with CBSPhilly for the latest on this developing story.