PHILADELPHIA, PA --Officials say a pregnant mother ran into her burning North Philadelphia row house to rescue her toddler but died along with the child when smoke prevented their escape.
They are identified as Elizabeth Perez and her 2-year-old son Nathaniel.
The fire broke out around 4 a.m. on the 2800 block of North 4th Street in the city's Fairhill neighborhood. Firefighters arrived to find flames shooting from the second floor of the house.
Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer says the Elizabeth initially escaped the blaze with other relatives but realized Nathaniel missing. He says she ran inside to save the child.
Officials say the mother and child were found in an upstairs bedroom. Elizabeth had Nathaniel in her hands, but was apparently unable to get back out of the house.
Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Six people, including four minors, managed to escape and were taken to the hospital in stable condition.
Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer said, "It's disturbing that there were at least five portable heaters in the home."
The fire's cause is under investigation, but five space heaters were found throughout the house. The home had no working smoke detectors, according to Executive Chief Clifford Gilliam.
Someone in the house initially tried to extinguish the blaze on his own, Sawyer said.
"Because they were trying to fight the fire, it delayed everyone getting out," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.