A child playing with a lighter near a Christmas tree may have caused this week’s deadly fire at a rowhouse in Philadelphia that killed 12 people, including eight children, according to a search warrant for the property.
The Philadelphia Inquirer cited “sources” in reporting the latest development following the fire early Wednesday morning. A search warrant application filed Wednesday in Common Pleas Court included “information that a child age 5 or under was playing with a lighter and lit the tree on fire,” said Chesley Lightsey, chief of homicide for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD OUR APP AND TAKE US WITH YOU ANYWHERE!
This tragedy is one of the deadliest house fires in the city’s history. Ages of the victims ranged from two to 33, CBS Philadelphia reported.
Firefighters arrived around 6:40 a.m. to the fiery scene in the city’s Fairmount neighborhood and didn’t get the blaze under control until 7:31 a.m. There were 26 people living in two apartments in the building where 13 smoke and six carbon monoxide detectors in total that did not work. The residence, which is owned by the Philadelphia Housing Authority, only had two exits.
“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.
The official cause of the fire is still being investigated.
“It was terrible, most of, I’ve been around for 30, 35 years now and this is probably one of the worst fires I’ve ever been to,” Philadelphia Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy said during a press conference.
Dinesh Indala, a senior executive and vice president of operations for the Philadelphia Housing Authority, said despite reports that the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors didn’t work, annual inspections were done where detectors were installed and batteries were replaced.
“Most recent inspection on B unit was May 5, 2021, and at that time, we had six smoke detectors and three carbon monoxide detectors working,” Indala told CBS Philadelphia. “We had to replace two batteries in two smoke detectors, all replaced. On a previous inspection, 9/28/2019, we also had to replace smoke detectors again in the same unit. On A unit, the latest inspection on 4/23 and two smoke detectors were installed and there were seven smoke detectors and three carbon monoxide detectors present and they were signed by the tenant as a part of the smoke detector response form.”
She added that the housing authority wasn’t aware that 26 people were living in two units but it’s possible that family was visiting.
A GoFundMe was started to help cover funeral expenses. So far, over $83,000 has been donated.
Prayers Up: Notable Black Folks Who Have Tested Positive For COVID-19
1. Secretary of Defense Lloyd AustinSource:Getty 1 of 84
2. Davante Adams, NFL playerSource:Getty 2 of 84
3. Gil Bailey, radio pioneer3 of 84
4. Rev. William BarberSource:Getty 4 of 84
5. Usain Bolt, Olympic gold medalist
5 of 84
6. Sen. Cory BookerSource:Getty 6 of 84
7. Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta mayorSource:Getty 7 of 84
8. Jaylen Brown, NBA playerSource:Getty 8 of 84
9. Herman Cain, former presidential candidateSource:Getty 9 of 84
10. Nick Cannon, entertainerSource:Getty 10 of 84
11. Ben Carson, former HUD SecretarySource:Getty 11 of 84
12. Cedric Ceballos, former NBA player
12 of 84
On my 10th day in ICU, COVID-19 is officially kicking my but, I am asking ALL family, friends , prayer warriors healers for your prayers and well wish for my recovery.— Cedric Ceballos (@cedceballos) September 7, 2021
If I have done and anything to you in the past , allow me to publicly apologize.
My fight is not done…..
13. Dave Chappelle, comedianSource:Getty 13 of 84
14. Rep. Bonnie Watson ColemanSource:Getty 14 of 84
15. Eugene Daniels, journalist
15 of 84
🧵🧵So today is my 11th day since testing positive for COVID-19. And let me tell you -- it was HELL. I am fully vaccinated and it knocked me on my ass. I had chills, a scary high fever, night sweats, trouble breathing, extreme exhaustion, and the terrible cough.— Eugene Daniels (@EugeneDaniels2) September 23, 2021
16. Jacob Desvarieux, guitaristSource:Getty 16 of 84
17. Manu Dibango, musicianSource:Getty 17 of 84
18. Andre Dickens, Atlanta Mayor-ElectSource:Getty 18 of 84
19. Dennis Dickson, NYPD employee19 of 84
20. Kevin Durant, NBA starSource:Getty 20 of 84
21. Larry Edgeworth
21 of 84
Prayers to the family of NBC’s Larry Edgeworth 💔🙏🏽 and my former colleagues at 30 Rock. He died after testing positive for #coronavirus. Larry would always offer to help me ...even after I moved to CBS. He just wanted to see another brother win. #IAmMyBrothersKeeper Rest 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/TyXbiHs30d— DeMarco Morgan (@DeMarcoReports) March 20, 2020
22. Kenneth "Babyface" EdmondsSource:Getty 22 of 84
23. Idris and Sabrina Dhowre Elba
23 of 84
This morning I tested positive for Covid 19. I feel ok, I have no symptoms so far but have been isolated since I found out about my possible exposure to the virus. Stay home people and be pragmatic. I will keep you updated on how I’m doing 👊🏾👊🏾 No panic. pic.twitter.com/Lg7HVMZglZ— Idris Elba (@idriselba) March 16, 2020
24. Patrick Ewing, basketball legendSource:Getty 24 of 84
25. Ronald Fenty, Rihanna's dadSource:Getty 25 of 84
26. Vivica A. Fox, actressSource:Getty 26 of 84
27. Cori "Coco" Gauff, tennis starSource:Getty 27 of 84
28. Jimmy Glenn, legendary boxing trainerSource:Getty 28 of 84
29. Rudy Gobert
29 of 84
30. Whoopi GoldbergSource:Getty 30 of 84
31. Louis Gossett Jr., actor, philanthropistSource:Getty 31 of 84
32. Lee Green, former college hoops star
32 of 84
It is with much sadness to inform all in my SJU family that we lost Lee Green to Covid-19 today. A Parade All-American who played 3 years at #SJUBB Lee was our warrior on those teams. A true lock em up defender that relished shutting down the best opponents. RIP Lee🙏🏻 #gone2soon pic.twitter.com/X4TIPbVvoU— Ron Linfonte (@SJU5) March 24, 2020
33. Charles Gregory, Tyler Perry's makeup artrist
33 of 84
34. Lewis Hamilton, Formula One driverSource:Getty 34 of 84
35. Samuel Hargress Jr., owner of legendary Harlem nightclub
35 of 84
Thank You for your friendship Sam! 💔#RIP💔 Harlem's Paris Blues Jazz Club has been a celebrated local music joint since 1969, playing live jazz and blues nightly. It's owner and manager, Mr. Samuel Hargress Jr., has been in the club nearly every day for the past 51 years. 💫🔥💫 pic.twitter.com/oSM9Cbzzdb— B Michael (@bmichaelAmerica) April 15, 2020
36. Barry Harris, pioneering jazz pianistSource:Getty 36 of 84
37. Conan Harris, Rep. Ayanna Pressley's husbandSource:Getty 37 of 84
38. Antoine Hodge, opera singerSource:GoFundMe 38 of 84
39. Mike Huckaby, techno music pioneer and DJ
39 of 84
R.I.P Mike Huckaby. You will forever continue to change so many peoples lives with your music, technique and mentoring. These clips of Huck are from ‘Detroit The Blueprint Of Techno’ 💔 pic.twitter.com/8t8c83Uy2K— Dark Entries Records (@darkentriesrecs) April 25, 2020
40. Callum Hudson-OdoiSource:Getty 40 of 84
41. DL Hughley, comedian41 of 84
42. Ahmed Ismail Hussein, Somali singer
42 of 84
BREAKING: One of Somalia’s greatest artists has died in London after contracting Corona Virus. Ahmed Ismail Hussein “Hudeydi” known as the “King of Oud” has been in hospital for four days. He was 92. pic.twitter.com/iCii8vYVVv— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) April 8, 2020
43. Jesse and Jacqueline JacksonSource:Getty 43 of 84
44. Wilson Roosevelt Jerman, former White House butler
44 of 84
Tonight on @fox5dc at 10p -— Shawn Yancy (@ShawnYancyTV) May 20, 2020
He served at the pleasure of 11 U.S. Presidents... during his 55 years at the White House.
Last weekend, he passed from COVID-19.
My exclusive interview with the granddaughter of White House butler, Wilson Jerman is next! pic.twitter.com/SBiXbQLiud
45. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, actor
45 of 84
46. Paul Johnson, house music DJSource:Getty 46 of 84
47. Jim Jones, rapperSource:Getty 47 of 84
48. Brad "Scarface" JordanSource:Getty 48 of 84
49. DeAndre Jordan, NBA starSource:Getty 49 of 84
50. Tim Lester, NFL starSource:Getty 50 of 84
51. LL Cool JSource:Getty 51 of 84
52. James Mahoney, pulmonologist
52 of 84
Dr. James Mahoney at University Hospital of Brooklyn pic.twitter.com/SXBxNlzApr— Lieutenant Kijé (@BrianLemaire2) May 19, 2020
53. Ellis Marsalis Jr., musicianSource:Getty 53 of 84
54. DeRay McKesson, activistSource:Getty 54 of 84
55. Von Miller, NFL starSource:Getty 55 of 84
56. Nicki MinajSource:Getty 56 of 84
57. Donovan Mitchell57 of 84
58. Wisconsin Rep. Rep. Gwen MooreSource:Getty 58 of 84
59. Lloyd Porter, small business owner in Brooklyn
59 of 84
Devastated to hear Lloyd Porter has pass away from covid19. Lloyd was a pillar in Brooklyn. His coffee shop Breadstuy is where I met some of my closest friends. He sometimes hired people with records that couldn't easily find work. He believed in community. Rest well Brother— Blitz Bazawule (@BlitzAmbassador) May 7, 2020
60. U.S. Rep. Ayanna PressleySource:Getty 60 of 84
61. Charley Pride, country music legendSource:Getty 61 of 84
62. South African President Cyril RamaphosaSource:Getty 62 of 84
63. Biden Adviser, Rep. Cedric RichmondSource:Getty 63 of 84
64. Arnie Robinson Jr., Olympian
64 of 84
Arnie Robinson Jr., who won the gold medal in the long jump at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, died on Dec. 2 at his home in San Diego. He was 72. https://t.co/lYnpSbWkzO— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) December 16, 2020
65. Chris Rock, actor and comedianSource:Getty 65 of 84
66. Wallace RoneySource:Getty 66 of 84
67. Marcus Smart67 of 84
68. Shaka Smart, University Of Texas Men's Basketball CoachSource:Getty 68 of 84
69. Troy Sneed, gospel singerSource:Getty 69 of 84
70. Sage SteeleSource:Getty 70 of 84
71. Oliver "DJ Black N Mild" Stokes Jr.
71 of 84
New Orleans bounce DJ and radio personality Black N Mild has died after testing positive for coronavirus. For the past 25 years, he also deejayed at countless clubs, parties and other private events across the southeast. pic.twitter.com/2e6mnKhiXQ— Eric Alper 🎧 (@ThatEricAlper) March 21, 2020