Elderly man injured, grandson killed in Bucks County fire
LEVITTOWN, Pa. - April 2, 2012 (WPVI) -- A fast-moving house fire turned tragic overnight, injuring a 90-year-old man and claiming the life of his grandson.
Fire officials believe the blaze began in a first floor bedroom. Overloaded extension cords were found connected to an outlet in the room.
A crackling noise had awoken Eric Watkins around 1:30 Monday morning. He then looked across the street on the 100 block of Everturn Lane in Levittown. Flames were tearing through the home of his longtime neighbors - 85-year-old Jack McCardle and his 35-year-old grandson David.
Watkins ran inside the back of the screened in porch and met the elderly man who was trying to escape while calling for his grandson.
Watkins explains, "He was coming out the door so I grabbed him, got him out as far as could - just nothing I could do for the other guy."
Fire crews arrived and had the fire under control in about an hour, but the David was trapped upstairs on the second floor.
Authorities later found his body. Residents say David was known for his smile and his warmth.
"Sweetheart. Always helping neighbors carry in groceries with the kids. He'll be missed in the neighborhood," said neighbor Pamela McGrath.
Neighborhood children drew pictures and wrote out messages in chalk outside the home. They also came up with the idea to raise money by gathering funds from neighbors and passersby to help.
"We really want to support as much money as we can to buy Jack new clothes and David for some flowers and a funeral," said 14-year-old Hailey Allard.
"He was just a really nice person. We think that this would be a nice thing to do because he would appreciate it, and we appreciated him living here," said 12-year-old Melissa Stewart.
Officials say Jack was taken to Temple University Hospital where he is fighting for his life.
The investigation into the cause of the fire continues, however investigators say they found outlets overloaded with extension cords on the first floor and no smoke detectors.
fire, bucks county, pennsylvania, local/state
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