A 3-year-old Philadelphia boy died yesterday from severe burn injuries suffered in a tragic home fire that sent four other family members to area hospitals with smoke inhalation damage and serious burn injuries. Nicholas Budzilo was trapped with his 5-year-old older brother in an upstairs bedroom when fire raced through their Port Richmond home. Their grandfather and pregnant mother were able to escape the burning home with 1-year-old toddler Jacob. Both the mother and grandfather made repeated attempts to reenter the house and rescue the older boys but were repelled by the blaze.
When Philadelphia firefighters arrived on the scene they were able to rescue the boys, but the injuries sustained by Nicholas’ small body were too great and he died early yesterday morning. His brothers remain in stable condition at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children; his mother and grandfather, also in stable condition, at Temple University Hospital.
The fire which left the home gutted and uninhabitable is under investigation. Neighbors said it appeared that the blaze might have started in a second story bedroom, and one man speculated that a room air conditioner may have overheated in Philadelphia’s record-setting heat.
Loss from fire is traumatic. This Philadelphia family lost a son and their home. The four surviving family members face a long, painful, expensive recovery. Burn injuries are the most painful of traumatic personal injuries, requiring a slow, painful rehabilitation that often involves multiple surgeries and skin grafts. Find out more here. Recovery can take months, even years. Even after recovery, nerve damage can cause lifelong pain, loss of function and disfiguring scarring that cannot be repaired.
Expert legal advice from a Philadelphia personal injury attorney experienced with burn injury claims is critical in recovering damages for medical and hospital bills, ongoing health care, future surgeries, pain and suffering, counseling, loss of income and other issues burn victims and their families will have to deal with for years to come.