The call came out just before 12:45 a.m. Thursday to a home on the 2400 block of Ardell Street in Eastwick.
Crews arrived to find heavy smoke billowing out of the second floor and flames shooting through the roof.
“The fire was on the second floor and by all indications, it had probably burned for a long period of time because it had gone through the roof towards the rear of the structure,” said Philadelphia Assistant Fire Chief Tony Sneidar.
Firefighters rescued a man in his 80s from the roof of the front porch. Neighbor Lamar Mitchell said the man, known as Mr. Ron, was frantically trying to get back into the house to find his 7-year-old grandson.
“He was screaming, ‘Where’s my grandson, where’s my grandson?’” Mitchell said. “One of my friends went in the house and tried to go up the stairs, but we couldn’t make it past the top steps because it was a blazing fire.”
Three others, a grandmother, mother and her 6-year-old girl, got themselves out of the house. After a search of the home, firefighters found the 7-year-old boy in the front, second floor bedroom.
“It was horrific,” Mitchell said. “He wasn’t moving. He wasn’t responsive.”
Firefighters were able to get the fire under control in about a half-hour. The fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause of the fire.
Mitchell says he saw a troubling sight when he went into the house.
“A heater, one of them heaters that gets red hot, it was flipped over on the carpet as if it caught,” he said. “I believe those heaters are supposed to turn off, and that one didn’t.”
So far, no word of the condition of the injured.