Philadelphia firefighter dies in building collapse; 5 other people rescued

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The collapse of 300 W. Indiana Ave. in the Fairhill area of ​​the city happened shortly before 3.30am – about 90 minutes after firefighters were called to battle the blaze – and sent colleagues rushing to rescue those trapped inside , 1st Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy said.

“Our department lost a member bravely fighting a fire and then caught in a building collapse after the fire was over,” he said.

“We just finished pulling … our brothers out of here. The next few weeks are going to be tough,” Murphy told reporters on Saturday morning.

Of the six people trapped in total, five – four firefighters and a municipal licensing and inspection worker – were rescued and sent to hospital. The licensing officer was released; the four firefighters remained hospitalized Saturday morning in stable condition, Murphy said.

The deceased firefighter was a 27-year veteran, Murphy said. No names were immediately released.

The cause of the collapse is not known and will be investigated by a fire marshal and others, Murphy said.

Firefighters were called to the building at 1:53 a.m. to a box alarm and found a fire, which they put out, Murphy said.

As firefighters focused on displaced residents and “surveyed” — looking for remaining fires in hidden spaces — the building collapsed, Murphy said.

A person jumped from the second floor to avoid being trapped. Others were taken down systematically, Murphy said.

During rescue efforts, rescuers had a “dialogue” with those trapped, including tapping on the debris “so someone could tell someone was in there,” Murphy said.

It was a “lean-to/pancake collapse,” Murphy said, as some collapsed material could have fallen flat on a surface, other material could have leaned against a wall, creating from space. “There were a lot of empty spaces,” Murphy said.

At the site, firefighters and others stood by or walked around a large pile – more than with their heads held high – of metal, wood and other debris, video from the affiliate showed. from CNN WPVI.
At least nine agencies aided in recovery efforts, including the Philadelphia Police and American Red Cross, Fire Department added on Twitter.

CNN’s Michelle Watson contributed to this report.

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