PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The investigation continues into an apartment fire Tuesday morning in Philadelphia’s Lawncrest neighborhood that claimed two lives and injured a third person.

The one-alarm fire was discovered in a first-floor apartment unit of a five-story apartment building in the 6400 block of Oxford Avenue near Levick Street.

The elderly couple who died in the fire was desperate to get out of their apartment but they were hindered because of their disabilities, according to officials.

“It appears the female was trying to get out,” said Fire Commissioner Roy Ayers.

When firefighters arrived to apartment A-100, in the Oxford House Apartments, they found the bodies of an elderly couple inside. Officials say no other apartments were damaged.

Those familiar with the man and woman tell Eyewitness News the couple, Gerald Ford and Lynne Scripnicencu, had lived in the unit for 20 years.
“They were really nice people and we’re going to miss them,” said Leasing Agent Idalia Hernandez.

Philadelphia Fire Captain Jeff Thompson says the cause of the fire has not been determined and he says it was not immediately known if the apartment had working smoke detectors.

The Commissioner says so far this year they’ve responded to 16 fatalities. That’s double the amount from this time, last year.

Reported by Al Novack, KYW Newsradio; Jericka Duncan, CBS 3

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