Residents of a Southwest Philadelphia neighborhood sobbed uncontrollably and consoled one another as they looked at the aftermath of a massive fire that killed four young children and displaced over 40 people early Saturday morning.
"This is a tragic, tragic day for the city of Philadelphia," said Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer. "We lost four children today."
The fire broke out at a home on 65th and Gesner around 2:45 a.m. and quickly spread from the porches of several homes. Officials say eight houses in all were destroyed before firefighters brought the flames under control.
"I was sleeping and I had seen the fire," said Keisha Burgess, who lives on the block where the fire spread. "I just woke up and grabbed my kids. The fire was just spreading and it was just everywhere, house to house. I had to wake up, bring my kids out and just get out."
According to fire officials, four children were killed and four other people were injured. They also say 42 people in all were displaced.
Sources tell NBC10 that the four children killed ranged in age from 1-month to 4-years-old.
A shelter has been set up for the displaced residents at Bartram High School on 67th and Elmwood. The Red Cross is currently assisting the victims.
Officials continue to investigate the cause of the blaze.
- NBC Philadelphia
First published July 5 2014, 5:44 AM