Devastating US rowhouse fire leaves seven children dead — Analysis
Philadelphia was rocked by a massive fire that engulfed two apartment buildings in the early morning hours. It claimed 13 lives and injured two others. All smoke detectors in the rowhouse apparently didn’t work.
Officials from the Philadelphia Fire Department said that the fire began on the second floor at 6.30 am on Wednesday. It was put out about one hour later. Some residents were able to escape on their own, and firefighters rescued several others after cutting a hole in the building’s roof.
Seventeen of the 13 victims died in accidents, seven being children. As the only two survivors were admitted to hospital with possible critical injuries, it is likely that this death count will rise. The 2,300 sq ft rowhouse was home to 26 residents. It had been turned into two apartments. Eighteen residents were crammed into one of them, and officials said four smoke detectors in the building weren’t working. The cause of the fire hasn’t yet been determined.
“I’ve been around for 35 years, and this is probably one of the worst fires I’ve ever been to,”Craig Murphy, Deputy Fire Commissioner, spoke to reporters.
It is situated in Fairmount near a state prison. The housing authority owns the building. A neighbor told local CBS News affiliate KYW-TV he was woken by the afflicted residents’ anguished cries. “I just heard screams,”He stated. “The flames were huge. You can’t really imagine something like this happening.”
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The blaze will go down as one of the deadliest fires in Philadelphia’s history. The worst on record, which began in a furniture dealer’s building and spread to neighboring properties, killed 22 people in 1901.
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