A third-grade teacher at Shawmont School in Philadelphia died in a house fire early Sunday morning in the city’s Roxborough section, according to school officials.
Shelia J. Taylor Hawkins, 62, had taught at the school about 10 years, said Rob McGrogan, principal of Shawmont, which also is in Roxborough.
“We’re shaken. We’re shaken as a community,” McGrogan said. “She’s not only a member of the staff, she’s a member of the community. She has family that attend the school, so she’s part of our fabric in a number of ways.”
Police said Hawkins was found unresponsive inside the house in the 600 block of Renz Street shortly before 8 a.m. She was taken to Temple University Hospital in critical condition and later pronounced dead, police said.
No further information about the cause of the fire was available.
A post on the Facebook page of the Shawmont Home & School Association called Hawkins “one of our beloved teachers” and said her grandchildren are students at Shawmont.
“Our thoughts remain with her entire family as they navigate the outcomes of this tragic event,” the post said, adding that grief counselors would be available at the school Monday for students and faculty.
Shawmont enrolls just over 500 students and has a full-time teaching staff of 28.
“It is a very familial community,” McGrogan said. “When I was talking to parents this evening, it was certainly emotional.”