PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Officials have ruled a house fire in Philadelphia’s Frankford neighborhood an arson after a gas can was found inside. The blaze broke out at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday at a row home on the 5200 block of Duffield Street.
Investigators say no one was inside the house when the fast-moving flames tore through the building. Flames and black smoke were seen coming from the roof of the row home. The fire caused the roof to collapse.
“I heard an explosion, came downstairs and the neighbor said the home next door is on fire,” said neighbor Larry Branch, who escaped without injury.
But after firefighters put out the blaze, they discovered a gas can coupled with the fact that neighbors say this isn’t the first fire at the home in the past few months.
“This is the second time with this house,” neighbor Desiree Ryland said, “and I don’t understand why it’s going on, why it keeps happening.”
It was no surprise that the fire marshal and officials with ATF were on the scene with a dog trained to sniff out accelerants.
With how quickly it moved, those living nearby say they’re simply glad this investigation doesn’t involve a death.
“Thank God no one was in the house,” neighbor Yolanda Lewis said.