Juan Ash was just 3 months and 20 days old when he died in the bitter cold inside his family's unheated home in Kensington yesterday.
The infant was not breathing when police were summoned by a 911 call at 6:40 a.m. Paramedics were unable to resuscitate him.
The city's Department of Human Services removed the infant's seven siblings and two other children from the home on Madison Street near Kensington Avenue, said acting DHS commissioner Arthur C. Evans.
All were age 10 or younger, he said. The two nonsiblings were believed to be cousins.
The family had a "history" with DHS, according to Ted Qualli of the mayor's office, acting as a spokesman for DHS.
"They were recently involved with us, but there was not an active case," Qualli said.
By early yesterday, the temperature had dropped to 10 degrees in Philadelphia, according to the National Weather Service.
The family, which authorities did not identify, had moved into the home on Madison Street on Feb. 1 or 2, Qualli said. Police said the parents had told them that they had contacted PGW but that the heat hadn't been turned on yet.
Police from the Special Victims Unit, which is investigating with DHS, said the other children reported that space heaters were being used in the bedrooms.
Evans, who took over only recently after a DHS child-death scandal was reported by the Inquirer, asked that autopsy results be obtained quickly to determine whether the baby died from the cold.
"But given the temperature and that there wasn't heat in the house, that could have played a role," he said.
Health Department spokesman Jeff Moran said at least partial information about how the baby died was expected before the end of the week, but "a full battery of tests are expected in a case of this kind and that could take several weeks."
Evans said the other children would be placed in foster care and efforts would be made to keep them together.
It was the second time in recent days that a Philadelphia resident was found dead in an unheated house.
Last Thursday, Albert New-some, 54, was found dead in his rented room on Ross Street near High in East Germantown, according to Moran. He said New-some died of heart disease and hypothermia.