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Mom and 4 children die in Philadelphia blaze

SHARE Mom and 4 children die in Philadelphia blaze

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — 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.

"It's just a catastrophic thing," 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's electrical wiring was rigged dangerously, and it was choked with debris, Ayers said.