PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A devastating fire in Philadelphia’s Logan neighborhood left a dozen people injured, some critically. Authorities are now working to determine whether or not the blaze is a case of arson.
Investigators are being tight-lipped about the cause of the fire but neighbors are convinced it was no accident.
Crews rushed to a fast-moving fire around 4:30 a.m. on the 4900 block of North 12th Street. When firefighters got on scene, they found some victims already outside and looking for help.
“When they arrived they found multiple building occupants out in the street, in the backyard, people with injuries, people who had jumped. Very chaotic scene when they arrived,” Philadelphia Fire Department Commissioner Adam Thiel said.
A dozen people were injured. Of them, two are listed in critical condition — an adult and a 12-year-old boy. Family members say the boy leaped from a window to escape the thick smoke and heavy flames.
“He jumped from a third-story floor, he had to jump. It was either that or stay there and die,” the victim’s brother said.
His brother didn’t want to give his name but he believes someone caused the fire.
“It was definitely intentional,” he said.
Investigators won’t yet say how the fire started but Eyewitness News found an accelerant detection canine sniffing around, and several people say a man was seen tossing something onto a couch on the porch just before flames broke out.
“It looked like someone put gasoline in the bottle, lit it on fire and threw it on the couch,” the brother said.
Eyewitness News is told the 12-year-old boy who jumped from the third-floor has broken ribs, a broken collar bone and 30% of his body is burned.
But he is also being credited with saving his family’s life.
Crews are still working to determine how many families live inside the home.
“We’re still trying to understand exactly who lived here, where they are,” Thiel said. “Doing that secondary search is potentially going to take us an hour or two to finish that search given the conditions inside.”
Several kids live in the building and are now being treated at a nearby hospital, but neighbors say some looked like they were suffering from smoke inhalation.
“It was scary, real scary,” a neighbor said.
It took 50 firefighters and other crews to knock out the flames.
CBS3’s Crystal Cranmore and Matt Petrillo contributed to this report.