Careless smoking caused the fire on Saturday that killed a 12-year-old boy with autism in West Philadelphia, fire officials announced yesterday.
"He's gone," Lernin Perez said through tears as she reflected on the life of her son, Frank Marasco.
Fire officials said smoking materials, possibly a cigarette, were found inside a couch on the first floor of the two-story home.
Only one smoke alarm - which didn't work - was found in the house, fire officials said.
When the fire occurred, the engine company nearest to the house where Marasco died was closed as part of the city's rolling brownouts. The incident has been used by neighbors and union leaders to lash out against the plan to save the city $3.8 million.