A youngster playing with matches caused a fast-moving house fire that killed an 8-year-old Southwest Philadelphia girl yesterday, authorities said.
The victim, Cirara Whitaker, was pronounced dead of smoke inhalation at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Fire officials said engine companies responding to the residence in the 1500 block of South 53d Street at 11:48 Monday night found intense fire on the first floor and heavy smoke on the upper floors.
Two occupants, 61-year-old Katherine Whitaker and a boy, Kavon Whitaker, 9, were able to get out on their own. Firefighters battling their way inside through heat and smoke found Cirara in a third-floor rear bedroom. Paramedics rushed her to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 12:30 a.m.