PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Ten firefighters were injured while battling a high-rise fire in North Philadelphia early Wednesday morning. Three residents were also injured in the blaze.
The fire broke out at about 5:45 a.m. in an eighth floor apartment of a Philadelphia Housing Authority building at 24th and Jefferson Streets. Authorities say the fire reached two alarms just before 6:30 a.m. and was placed under control shortly after 7 a.m.
Hundreds of residents were safely evacuated from the building, but 10 firefighters were injured.
Chief Daniel Williams with the Philadelphia Fire Department says one of the injured firefighters, identified as 40-year-old Michael McGuire, suffered serious injuries. Sources say that he ran out of oxygen and had to be rescued by his fellow firefighters.
McGuire, a five year veteran of the fire department and former member of the Philadelphia Police Department, was initially taken to Hahnemann University Hospital. He was later transferred to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where he remains in critical condition but stable condition.
The other firefighters were said to have suffered non-life-threatening injuries and several have already been treated and released.
Officials say the three injured residents were treated at Temple University Hospital for smoke inhalation.
Fire officials say the cause of the fire appears to be non-permanent electrical wiring described as an extension chord.
Reported By Dray Clark, CBS 3; Al Novack, KYW Newsradio