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Fire Officials Still Working To Determine Cause Of Fire That Killed 4 Children In Southwest Philadelphia

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Fire officials speak with members of community about fire safety and address concerns in the aftermath of the deadly blaze.  (credit: Tim Jimenez/KYW)

Fire officials speak with members of community about fire safety and address concerns in the aftermath of the deadly blaze. (credit: Tim Jimenez/KYW)

Tim Jimenez Tim Jimenez
Tim Jimenez is a general assignment reporter at KYW Newsradio...
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By Tim Jimenez

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Fire officials are still working to determine the cause of the fire that killed four kids and displaced dozens in Southwest Philadelphia over the weekend. On Monday, firefighters and the Red Cross returned to the neighborhood for a safety blitz.

It was a door-to-door effort for firefighters and Red Cross volunteers here on the 6500 block of Genser Street.

“We come out and make sure that every home on this block has a working smoke alarm. In addition to a working smoke alarm we make sure to have fire and life safety education,” says Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer.

Sawyer says there was a working smoke alarm in the house where the four kids perished, but an evacuation plan wasn’t in place and officials want to make sure everyone on the block knows what to do when an emergency happens.

Sawyer also defended their response time in light of some neighbors saying firefighters didn’t come by for up to a half an hour after the fire broke out.

“The first ladder company was actually here in a minute and 46 seconds,” says Sawyer.

Sawyer wouldn’t go into specifics, but acknowledges firefighters have gotten threats from angry residents in the aftermath of the deadly blaze.

“For someone to threaten someone that puts their lives on the line, it’s not fair,” he says.

 

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