Children's toys placed on the steps of the West Philadelphia house where three people died in a tragic fire last week are a sad memorial to the two small children killed by the blaze.

Four-year-old Yasire Mickens and 6-month-old Haliem Ryals, along with their 69-year-old great-grandmother, Delores Hampson, who was bedridden from a stroke, perished in what officials say was a fire caused by children playing with matches.

The youngsters' mother, Yvonne Ryals, managed to save her 7-year-old daughter, Kevonna, and Yasire's twin brother, Tasire, by dropping them from her roof into the arms of neighbors. Yvonne's mother, Lorreta Green, also managed to escape.

Although the investigation of the fire is closed, the doors to the house at 57th Street near Race remain open to the wind that fed the flames on Valentine's Day, and memories and grief still grip the neighbors who witnessed those fatal moments.

Kenneth Tucker, a next-door neighbor, remembers what he saw when he ran up to his neighboring roof to see if he could help.

"I climbed to my roof and I saw Yvonne on hers, screaming about her children," said Tucker. "I tried to crawl into her window to help, but the smoke blew out and burnt my face."

Thelma Tennant, who was handed Tasire during the confusion and who brought him into her house, was choked with tears at the thought of what the family had gone through.

"I noticed his hair was singed as I wrapped him in a blanket, and he just kept on yelling, 'I have to go upstairs!' I don't think he even realized whose house he was in."

And Gloria Lighty, who says she could recall the births of all of the children in the house, remembers the terror in Ryals' voice as she tried to console her in the living room of her house.

"She said to me, 'Please don't tell me my babies are gone!' and I just looked at her and said that 'I'm not going to tell you that; the firemen are coming now.' "

Lighty contacted Mount Carmel Baptist Church, on Race Street just a block from where the fire occurred, to act as the receiving station for donations to aid the survivors.

"We've already gotten a generous donation from the congregation," said the pastor, Rev. Albert F. Campbell, who asked for help at Sunday services.

Though he has never met the family, Campbell was more than willing to offer his church's help.

"They're our neighbors," he said.

Mount Carmel asks that donations be addressed to the church, 5732 Race St., Philadelphia, PA 19139. Donations should be marked for a Green/Ryals family fund. *