Southeastern PA

Fire officials: Philly fire that killed four children likely began in couch

PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia fire officials say a preliminary investigation suggests a blaze that killed four children as it ripped through row homes started in a couch on a porch.

A fire department dispatcher says the victims of Saturday morning's blaze are 4-year-old twin girls, a 4-year-old boy and a month-old boy.

The twin's mother, 41-year-old Dewen Bowah, told police she was in the home with seven children early Saturday and managed to get three out when the fire broke out. But she couldn't save her daughters, Maria and Marialla Bowah, or 1-month-old Taj Jacque and 4-year-old Patrick Sanyeah. The boys' mother wasn't in the home at the time.
Four other people were injured. More than 40 residents were displaced.

Fire officials say the blaze began shortly before 3 a.m. and spread quickly. It was brought under control in about an hour. At least eight row homes were completely gutted, leaving behind only charred frames.

Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer called it a ``tragic, tragic day'' for the city.
One resident says his neighbors were ``running for their lives.''


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