By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two people are dead after an early morning rowhouse fire in West Oak Lane. The fire broke out on the 6700 block of North 17th Street around 4:30 a.m.

“Tragedy. Tragedy. Pure tragedy,” said Richard Murray.

Neighbors could only use one word to describe how two people died in an early morning house fire.

One of the victims, a 64-year-old woman, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The other victim is a 74-year-old man who also died.

“He was a good man, good contractor, good neighbor, good friend. A good guy all around. Very good guy,” Murray said.

It took firefighters a half-hour to get the fire under control and rescue the people who were on the second floor.

“They had reports when they arrived of people trapped. Made an aggressive interior attack as they always do. Literally went through the fire and smoke to get to the second floor,” said Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel.

It’s not clear if there were working smoke detectors.

A 17-year-old who was pulled from the fire is listed in critical condition.

“One of the folks that the medic rescued while still being very critical condition, but they gave that individual a fighting chance,” Thiel said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

CBS3’s Howard Monroe contributed to this report.


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