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Infant Among 5 Dead In Row House Fire

Mon., April 7, 1997, midnight

Fire swept through a three-story row house, killing two adults and three children - including a week-old baby - and injuring several firefighters who got trapped when the building collapsed on them.

Neighbors said they saw about eight people jump from the second floor or crawl into an adjacent row house.

“The blaze was quick,” said neighbor Jason Robinson. “It just took 10 to 15 minutes before the whole house was on fire.”

Fire Commissioner Harold Hairston told radio station KYW that the Saturday night fire was apparently caused by a faulty electrical outlet.

Authorities identified the dead as Larry Blackman, 40, Angela Moore, 37, and three of her children, 5-year-old Ashley, 3-year-old Christopher and a week-old infant, Keith.

Moore’s two other children, a 6-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl, were in critical condition Sunday.

Eight firefighters suffered minor injuries.

Neighbor Celestine Wright heard the panicked voice of the children’s father. “He was in the middle of the street screaming, ‘My family’s in there,”’ Wright said. “We couldn’t get in there because the door was locked. The smoke was too much.”

All that remained of the home Sunday was the front door and two window frames.

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