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I-Team: No Medics Available To Assist House Fire Victims, 10-Year-Old Critical

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A young Philadelphia boy was critically injured in a house fire late Monday evening and now there are questions about the fire department’s response time.

The fire started at about 10 p.m. inside a home in the 1800 block of N. 27th Street in the city’s Strawberry Mansion neighborhood.

Neighors tried to save 10-year-old Albert Blassengale who was trapped in the home, but couldn’t make it past the heat.

Members of Ladder Co. 14 were able to battle their way through the heat and flames to reach him.

Paramedics performed CPR on the young victim before rushing him to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers says the first three companies to normally respond to the fire location were already on medical emergencies.

As a result, Ladder 14, which does not carry water, did not have a hose line to fight off the flames as they entered the home.

“I was like, where’s the water, where’s the water,” said Eyewitness Deborah Leatherby, “and they had to wait for another fire truck to come with the water.

Watch the video…

Engine Co. 13, located a mile and a half from the scene, arrived with water.

“Engine 13, who is normally fourth due, had to come in to the job. Their travel time was somewhere around five minutes to get here, when normally this neighborhood enjoys a time of about three minutes or four minutes at the most,” Ayers said.

Neighbors wonder if more engines with more water were available sooner, might it have made a difference.

According to fire records obtained by the CBS 3 I-Team, no medic units were available to be dispatched to the home.

“The little boy Albert was in there actually suffering and fighting for his life, that hurts me to my heart,” said a neighbor.

Ayers said the home did have working smoke detectors. The fire was placed under control in approximately 20 minutes.

No other injuries were reported.

Reported by Walter Hunter, CBS 3

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One Comment

  1. madmike59 says:

    ONe of the Biggest unreported issues in this whole case is the lack of call screening in the city. You call you get a firetruck and medic unit. If one is available. Call screening works in other cities. WHY IS IT NOT USED IN PHILADELPHIA

    1. Medicwife says:


  2. Givmeh20 says:

    Nothing is going to Stop until they are held Criminally for their Actions! But that won’t happen in Philly because the DA and the Judges are all from the same cut of Cloth!!!! DEMOCRAT…. the party of the underdog and working poor…. WHAT A JOKE!!!! Me and my family are in your corner little guy, Hang in their!!!

  3. BILL says:

    this tragedy is on mayor nutter and the bean counters. close firehouses while consultants and cronies rape the city.

  4. dmac says:

    Houston and Dallas That’s in Texas have about 93 Medic units ,that is for each city,not even counting fire truck first responder units,what up with that Mayor Nutter

  5. Jim Wilmer says:

    Remember people use the fire department for non emergency needs. Once the fire truck or Medic Van is dispatched; it can’t leave until the situation is resolved, signing a waver or being transported to hospital. There are urgent needs that require a medical professional; that can be transported by friend or cab. Emergency; is life threatening, which means what it means. Closing the fire departments adds to this need; but it is the people thinking if a fire truck or Medic Van brings them into the hospital they will be treated first. They are triaged; if you have a urgent need you are put back in line.

    1. medicwife says:

      So right!!!!!!

  6. EHORTON says:

    This kid is in the same scout unit with my 10 year old son, they both play on the same chess team. Praying for you little man.

  7. Francis Graff says:

    I can’t remember so many people being hurt and dying from house fires, as lately. Could it be, that the closing of fire houses and brown outs contribute to our safety. I think it’s time for the Fire Marshall and the District Attorney and the newly appointed Task force leader meet and discuss the possibility. I am not grabbing this from thought from the sky, I have been informed by firefighter’s in several call outs, that the response time to a fire is severly hampered. Ladder trucks must come greater distances than in past calls.

  8. Primetime Editorials says:

    i hope he recovers so sad
    visit my blog

Comments are closed.

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