5th January, 2022
At least 13 people, including seven children, were killed in an early morning fire on Wednesday in a Philadelphia apartment building.
Smoke detectors failed to go off, the Philadelphia Fire Department said.
Firefighters arrived around 6:40 a.m. (1140 GMT) and fought for about 50 minutes to control the blaze on the second floor of the three-story row house.
The building is located in the city’s Fairmount neighborhoo and is owned by the city’s public housing authority.
Eight people managed to escape the building through one of the two exits, and seven children were among those killed, Philadelphia Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy told reporters at a nearby news conference.
Officials did not give the children’s ages.
A fire fighter told ABC: “I’ve been around 35 years now—and this is probably one of the worst fires I’ve ever been to.”
“Keep those babies in your prayers,” Mayor Jim Kenney told reporters.
Fire officials said the death count could change.
Nearby, fire trucks were still parked outside the red-brick building, its facade blackened, its windows smashed out and dark.
“It was terrible,” Murphy told reporters. “I’ve been around for 35 years now and this is probably one of the worst fires I’ve ever been to.”
A child and an adult were taken by paramedics to nearby hospitals. There were four smoke detectors in the building but they failed to activate, fire officials said.
The building was converted to house two families, Indala said, and 26 people lived in the building.