At least 13 people perished this Wednesday, January 4, in the fire of a house in Philadelphia (USA), 7 of them minors, announced a person in charge of the city’s fire brigade and the US media.
“I have no words to describe how we feel as firefighters and as members of the community. The injured, one of them a child, were transported to local hospitals in serious condition, “said Murphy while saying that at the moment the fire is not classified as a” suspicious “, but in the same way the investigation is still active. In addition, he confirmed that “eight people” managed to escape the flames.
“This is one of the most tragic days in Philadelphia history. There were so many children, ”said Mayor Jim Kenney, who was affected.
The assistant commissioner of the Philadelphia Fire Department, Craig Murphy, explained in a press conference that the emergency services received the alert at 06.38 local time (11.38 GMT time) and when they arrived at the scene they found an “intense fire” which took an hour to control.
Craig said his staff “encountered a severe fire on the second floor of a three-story building.” In total, 26 people lived in the building, according to local authorities.
“It took 50 minutes to get the fire under control,” the fire service reported in a tweet. The building is located in a densely populated area close to a university, the Art Museum and other institutions in the city.
The Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper states that the building belongs to the city’s housing service. What was a single-family home has initially been converted into two apartments, the newspaper quoted the police as saying.
Neighbors told local media that they are shocked by the fire. At the moment the causes of the fire are unknown.
The affected homes are part of the Philadelphia Housing Authority and are located in the central and touristy Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia.
According to local press, at least four fire detectors were out of service.
With information from AFP.