Monday, April 09, 2012

2 Philly Firefighters Killed in Massive Warehouse Fire

                                                                                                                  photo by: Joseph Kaczmarek/AP

Ladder-10 Officer and Firefighter Killed During Collapse

Philadelphia (CNN) -- Two Philadelphia firefighters died early Monday and three others were injured when the wall of a building collapsed as they battled a five-alarm fire, officials said.

The collapse occurred about 5:50 a.m. as the five were inside a furniture store, said Deputy Fire Commissioner Ernest Hargett Jr.

Four of the firefighters were trapped inside, he said, but the fifth was able to get free. Firefighters were forced to move brick and timber by hand and cut through some materials to rescue the others, Hargett said.

The initial report of the blaze came in at 3:13 a.m., Hargett said. Command requested four additional alarms as the flames burned out of control for two hours and embers set surrounding buildings ablaze.

The firefighters who died were 60 and 25 years old and assigned to Kensington's Ladder-10, Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said. "We have a veteran firefighter and we have a new firefighter," he told reporters. The firefighters' names will be released later Monday, officials said.

The last time multiple Philadelphia firefighters died in the line of duty was 2004, Ayers said, and the last firefighter death was in 2006. The cause of the fire was under investigation Monday, Ayers said.


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