A fast-moving fire that broke out in a Philadelphia rowhouse early on January 5 left at least 12 people dead, including eight children, authorities reported.
Firefighters began responding at around 6:38 am to a fire in a three-story building on the 800 block of 23rd Street in Fairmount, Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy told reporters. Crews began an “aggressive” attack on the blaze, during which they found “multiple fatalities.”
Murphy said that as of late morning, 13 people had been confirmed dead, including seven children. (Officials later revised the numbers to 12 dead, including eight children.) Two others, one of them a child, had been taken to area hospitals. Fire officials were investigating the cause of the blaze, but said that at least four smoke detectors in the building were not functioning.
“This is without a doubt one of the most tragic days in our city’s history,” said Mayor Jim Kenney.
This footage, taken by Laurie Roma, shows the fire burning on Wednesday morning just before dawn. Flashing lights from emergency responders can also be seen. Credit: Laurie Roma via Storyful