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Mother, Daughter Killed In West Philadelphia House Fire

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Firefighters battled a house fire in the Belmont section of Philadelphia Thursday afternoon.

Crews were called out to a three-story home in the 4100 block of Pennsgrove Street at about 3:30 p.m.

Two people, a woman and her elderly mother, who were found on the third floor of the home, reportedly died from injuries they sustained in the fire.

“It was obvious these two women were trapped, and actually probably gone before we got there,” Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said.

Neighbors were saddened to learn of the deaths of the mother and daughter.

“I can’t make heads or tails of it. They were just there the other day,” neighbor Alfred Daniels said.

Authorities say a third person who was on the second floor of the home at the time of the fire is in critical condition at this time. Commissioner Lloyd Ayers says she appeared to be dead as she had not vital signs. Firefighters worked to revive the woman before she was transported to The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in critical condition.

Another woman was rescued from the roof of the front porch of the building. In all, five people were living in the home. Authorities say there was not a working smoke alarm in the home. The fire commissioner contends a battery was removed form the only smoke detector found. The building, according to fire officials, did have an old alarm system, but it didn’t work.

The fire department indicates the building is being investigated as a possible illegal boarding house and Licenses and Inspections determined the building had an illegal gas hook up.

The owners of the building have been identified. Right now, it’s not clear what if any violations they may have been cited for.

About eight people were displaced because of the fire. The Red Cross is providing families with food, shelter, clothing and counseling. On Friday at 3 p.m., the Red Cross will be handing out smoke detectors, batteries, and fire safety information in hopes of preventing future fatal fires.

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