PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two people are dead after an early morning fire in Point Breeze, according to Philadelphia fire officials.
The blaze broke out at a row home on the 1400 block of S. 23rd Street just before 5 a.m. Saturday morning.
“It was crazy. All these flames was coming out of the roof. People were running out and this lady was saying, ‘There’s a fire, help! There’s a fire, help!’ It was crazy,” Khalil Lloyd, who lives across the street, told Eyewitness News. “If you see how crazy the fire was, the flames… yikes!”
Authorities are not identifying the victims at this time, but they are confirming they found the bodies of one adult female and one adult male on the second floor.
Lloyd says he was friendly with the elderly woman, who had a bad leg.
“It’s devastating honestly,” he said. “She was like an aunt to everybody in the neighborhood.”
Philadelphia Deputy Fire Commissioner Anthony Sneidar Jr. says more than 65 firefighters and emergency responders rushed to the scene in four minutes.
Crews battled heavy smoke and flames, which began on the first floor and quickly spread to the second, the effects of which damaged neighboring units.
“Five buildings were affected by the fire through the roof-level area due to construction modifications over the years, we don’t know how long ago, which enabled the fire to transverse in that way,” Sneidar Jr. said.
It’s unclear whether the row home had working smoke detectors.
“We can’t say that there weren’t. We did not hear them upon arrival but remember, the conditions were so that they may have been damaged beyond ability to perform properly upon that point,” he added.
The Fire Marshal’s Office continues to investigate a cause.