At least 13 people died, including seven children, and two were injured in a fire that tore through a Philadelphia rowhouse Wednesday morning, according to the Philadelphia Fire Department.

Key Facts

PFD Deputy Commissioner Craig Murphy said there were smoke detectors in the residence that had been inspected as recently as 2020, but none were operational at the time of the fire.

Firefighters responded to a report of a fire around 6:40 a.m. in the Fairmount neighborhood, according to the PFD.

Firefighters found heavy fire on the second floor of a three-story rowhouse that had been converted into apartment units, according to a PFD spokesman.

It took 50 minutes to get the fire under control, the PFD said.

Murphy said the building is owned by the Philadelphia Housing Authority.

What We Don’t Know

Murphy said the cause of the fire was still under investigation, and added it is unclear why the residents may have had difficulty leaving the house.

Crucial Quote

“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 said during a press conference. “Losing so many kids is just devastating.”

Further Reading

13 Die in Fire at Philly Rowhome Converted Into Apartments (NBC Philadelphia)

Source: Forbes

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