Philadelphia firefighter dies in collapsed building; 5 more were rescued

300 W. Indiana Ave., in the Fairhill neighborhood of the city. The crash came just before 3:30 a.m. – about 90 minutes after firefighters were called in to put out the blaze – sent colleagues to rescue those trapped inside, 1st Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy said.

“One member of our department bravely lost the fire, and then the building collapsed when the fire was over,” he said.

“We’re done dragging … our brothers are leaving this place. The next few weeks will be tough,” Murphy told reporters Saturday morning.

Out of a total of six people trapped, five – four firefighters and one city license and inspection staff – were rescued and taken to hospital. Licensed worker released; Four firefighters were in a stable condition at the hospital Saturday morning, Murphy said.

Murphy said the dead firefighter was a 27-year-old senior. None of the names were immediately released.

The cause of the crash is unknown and will be investigated by firefighters and others, Murphy said.

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

Firefighters focused on displaced residents and “transformed” – while searching for remaining fires in hidden areas – the building collapsed, Murphy said.

Someone jumped from the second floor to avoid being trapped. The others were systematically evicted, Murphy said.

During the rescue operation, rescue workers had a “conversation” with the victims, including tapping the wreckage so that “someone could know someone was there,” Murphy said.

Murphy said it was a “lean-to / pancake slope”, with some collapsed objects falling flat on the surface and other material leaning against a wall, creating space. “There were a lot of vacancies,” Murphy said.

At the site, firefighters and others stood or walked around near large piles of metal, wood and other debris. CNN subsidiary WPVI showed.
The Philadelphia Police and the American Red Cross assisted at least nine agencies in rescue efforts, including the fire department. Added On Twitter.

Michelle Watson of CNN contributed to this report.

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