United States: 13 dead, including 7 children, in a building fire in Philadelphia
Sylvie Claire / January 6, 2022
So far, the death toll is 13, said Craig Murphy, a fire official at the scene, adding that seven children were among the victims. It was terrible, it's a terrible death toll, he continued in an impromptu press briefing that was streamed live on Twitter. It's one of the worst fires I've seen in my 35 years in office, he added. This is without a doubt one of the most tragic days in our city's history, the loss of so many people in such a tragic way, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney told reporters. Philadelphia firefighters arrived on the scene at 06:40 and faced an intense fire from the second floor of a three-story house. It took 50 minutes to bring the fire under control, they said.
The tragic fire took place in the central, residential Fairmont neighborhood, home to Philadelphia's major museums, in a small city-owned building. U.S. media footage shows the building is in the middle of a row of small houses, along a block that corners a small street. Several windows, from which firefighters' ladders extend, are completely blackened, as well as part of the roof. - An investigation is underway - According to fire representative Craig Murphy, there were four smoke detectors but none of them were working. He added that a very large number of people lived in a very small number of apartments.
According to a police source quoted by the local Philadelphia Inquirer, the building contains two units. According to Craig Murphy, eight people were able to evacuate the scene of the fire and two others were hospitalized.
We can not judge the number of people who lived in this building, added the mayor. The fire department and city hall announced that an investigation is underway to determine the conditions under which the fire started. It's not necessarily considered suspicious, but we have all hands on deck because of the magnitude of this fire, the fire official told reporters. In December 2017, a fire in New York's Bronx neighborhood killed 12 people, including four children, the worst in 25 years in the city. It had been caused by a three-and-a-half-year-old playing with a gas stove.