x

Society

Philadelphia Fire Kills at Least 13, Including 7 Children

January 5, 2022

PHILADELPHIA — A large fire tore through a two-unit house early Wednesday in Philadelphia, killing 13 people, including seven children, and sending two people to hospitals, fire officials said. They warned the numbers could grow as firefighters inspected the rowhome, where officials said 26 people had been staying.

The four smoke alarms in the building, which was public housing, did not appear to have been working, fire officials said.

“I knew some of those kids — I used to see them playing on the corner,” said Dannie McGuire, 34, fighting back tears as she and Martin Burgert, 35, stood in the doorway of a home around the corner. They had lived there for a decade, she said, “and some of those kids have lived here as long as us.”

“I can’t picture how more people couldn’t get out — jumping out a window,” she said.

City and fire officials did not release the names or ages of those killed in the blaze, which started before 6:30 a.m.

“It was terrible. I’ve been around for 35 years now and this is probably one of the worst fires I have ever been to,” said Craig Murphy, first deputy fire commissioner, at a news conference near the scene later in the morning.

“Losing so many kids is just devastating,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Keep these babies in your prayers.”

Crews responded around 6:40 a.m. and saw flames shooting from the second-floor front windows of the home, in an area believed to be a kitchen, Murphy said. The odd configuration of the house, which had been split into two apartments, made it difficult to navigate, he said, but crews were able to bring it under control in less than an hour.

There were four smoke alarms in the building, Murphy said, none of which appeared to be working. There were 18 people were staying in the upstairs apartment on the second and third floors, and eight staying in the downstairs apartment, which included the first floor and part of the second floor, he said.

The alarms had been inspected annually, and at least two had been replaced in 2020, with batteries replaced in the others at that time, Philadelphia Housing Authority officials said.

Television news footage showed ladders propped up against the smoke-blackened front of the house, with all its windows missing. Holes remained in the roof where firefighters had broken through.

RELATED

HOUSTON (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of immigrants had reason to rejoice when President Joe Biden unveiled a highly expansive plan to extend legal status to spouses of U.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Immigrant Families Rejoice over Biden’s Expansive Move Toward Citizenship, While Some are Left Out

HOUSTON (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of immigrants had reason to rejoice when President Joe Biden unveiled a highly expansive plan to extend legal status to spouses of U.

HOUSTON (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of immigrants had reason to rejoice when President Joe Biden unveiled a highly expansive plan to extend legal status to spouses of U.

TOKYO (AP) — Kazuko Shiraishi, a leading name in modern Japanese “beat” poetry, known for her dramatic readings, at times with jazz music, has died.

CAMDEN, Maine (AP) — Suspicious deaths in an idyllic seaside community and detective work that points to poison sound like themes from a classic murder mystery.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.