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3 Firefighters, 4 Residents Injured In Early Morning House Fire In North Philadelphia

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By Stasia DeMarco, Suzanne Monaghan and Robin Rieger

Philadelphia (CBS) – An early morning fire in North Philadelphia that injured three firefighters and four others, including a mother and a baby, is being investigated as arson, according to authorities.

According to Philadelphia Fire Deputy Chief Michael Wahl, the call for the house fire came in at 5:58 a.m. at 1618 North 20th Street. Upon arrival initial reports were of heavy smoke and a couple trapped inside.

Upon entering the home, firefighters rescued two people while two others escaped on their own. Three women and one child were taken to Hahnemann hospital for treatment and were in stable condition.

During the rescue, three firefighters were also injured. One firefighter, Lt. Marvin Melvin, is in critical but stable condition and was transferred to Temple Burn Center. The other two firefighters were admitted to Hahnemann in stable condition and have since been released.

Authorities say the fire was intentionally set and are investigating whether a possible domestic dispute is to blame.

Fire officials say the home did have working smoke detectors–and without that, this fire could have easily claimed several lives.

The fire is under investigation by the fire marshal’s office at this time.

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