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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Arson investigators are on the scene of a row home fire in North Philadelphia after a man and a woman were found dead inside overnight.
Flames broke out at 9th Street and Lehigh Avenue, just before 2 a.m. Wednesday.
Crews rushed to the scene and put out the flames in about 15 minutes. Once inside, crews found a man and woman dead.
Julius Coles, a family member, identified the man as 33-year-old Steven Tomoney– a father of two young daughters, a one-year-old and a six-year-old.
Coles says his nephew, Steven, broke up some sort of altercation between a couple of people on Tuesday night. He says a threat was made that the home would be set on fire.
“There was a threat made that, you know, the house would be burned down. I’m not sure on what really happened, but it is really ironic that all of sudden the house goes up in flames,” said the victim’s uncle, Julius Coles. “He [Steven Tomoney] was a really loved person. He took care of his daughter, Monday through Friday, he would pick her up on Sunday, and his daughter really loved him.”
The fire marshal’s office has not said what caused the blaze but sources close to the investigation say it appears the fire was accidental and caused by careless smoking.
Coles says his nephew did not live at the home where the fire started. He lived next door and was just visiting a friend on Tuesday.
“That was my only brother,” said Kevina Roby, who was Steven’s sister.“We was close, we argued like brothers and sisters.”
“We a close-knit family. We do cookouts together, family unions together. We do everything together and it really hurts to hear that he passed,” Coles added.
The woman killed in the blaze has not yet been identified.
The incident remains under investigation.