January 6, 2022

For once, Philadelphia is united in mourning for the victims of this horrific blaze. Mayor Jim Kenney and assistant fire commissioner Craig Murphy were tearful as they addressed the media. Via the Philadelphia Inquirer:

A catastrophic fire tore through a rowhouse in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood before sunrise Wednesday and killed 12 people, including eight children, in one of the nation’s deadliest residential fires in decades.

Authorities did not identify the victims, but relatives and friends said they included two mothers and their children, some who attended a nearby elementary school and one possibly as young as 2. Together, they occupied the top unit of a three-story brick home in which at least four smoke detectors weren’t working.

Investigators couldn’t say what sparked the 6:30 a.m. blaze or why it became so deadly so swiftly. Federal agents were expected to join Philadelphia fire marshals in what is likely to be a complex and lengthy probe.

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