Community Struggles To Cope With Deadly Southwest Philadelphia F - KMSP-TV

Community Struggles To Cope With Deadly Southwest Philadelphia Fire

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SOUTHWEST PHILADELPHIA-A Philadelphia neighborhood is struggling to cope with a heartbreaking tragedy after the loss of four children in a devastating fire that broke out in Southwest Philadelphia on Saturday morning.

On Sunday, complete strangers were trying to ease some of their suffering.

Mamasa Sheriff came out of her smoke-damaged house, still reeling from the devastation on the 6500 block of Gesner Street.

"I'm still going through the trauma! I can tell you that!" she said.

Her neighbors' houses are now in charred ruins after the massive fire destroyed 8 row homes.

"I looked through the window and it was blaze coming, so I went into the other room to get the kids up," said Sheriff.

Her kids got out, but her daughter's friends didn't make it.

4-year-old twins, Maria and Marialla Bowah, died in the chaos.

“She keeps asking me 'mommy why? why they have to die?' I say 'I don't really know. We have to ask god our question you know?'" said Sheriff.

4-year-old Patrick Sanyeah his 1-month-old brother Taj Ja-Quee also died. Their aunt donated items at Christ International Baptist Church on the corner, helping her family and others.

"I got to stand for my sister because if I don't stand for her, she can't stand. Right now, she can't even do nothing,” she said.

The victims were with the mother of the twins when the fire started on an outside couch, which spread to four homes by the time firefighters showed up.

Neighbors say the mother got some of her kids to safety; however, she couldn't get everyone and had to jump from an upstairs window to save her life.

That’s just part of the story that compelled a group of friends to drive up from Wilmington Delaware and lay teddy bears down at a growing memorial.


"I told my girls from mom to mom we got to show our condolences, show our respect, take them some teddy bears,” said Montana Taylor.

Donations are being accepted until Monday at 12 p.m. at Christ International Baptist Church

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