PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Distraught city leaders are responding to Wednesday’s tragic fire that killed at least 12 people in Fairmount and they’re also providing fire safety information to residents in the neighborhood.
City leaders are heartbroken by the tragic fire that claimed at least 12 lives, mostly children. Eyewitness News talked to the City Council president who was at the scene Wednesday morning. He was still trying to find the words hours after the devastating loss.READ MORE: Cooling Tower Malfunction Caused Fire At Center City High-Rise, Source Says
“This is just tragic. I don’t know what to say,” City Council President Darrell Clarke said.
Clarke was rendered speechless after arriving at the tragic fire scene in Fairmount on Wednesday morning.
“Your heart, your whole body just sinks,” Clarke said.
Overwhelming grief was felt by everyone seeing the fire-ravaged rowhome and hearing of the tremendous loss of life. Of the at least 12 people killed in the early morning fire, eight were children with the youngest being 2 years old. Eyewitness News has learned two of the other children attended a neighborhood school, Bache-Martin School.
Clarke recollects how students learned the heartbreaking news about their classmates.
“Children at Bache-Martin School, which apparently a couple of these kids went to, the children’s response to this knowing that they lost their friends, it’s just overwhelming,” Clarke said. “It’s overwhelming, not just for the neighborhood but for everybody.”
The fire marshal, the Philadelphia Housing Authority and other city departments will be investigating the cause of the deadly fire. City leaders say other landlords with multi-unit properties throughout the city should take this time to assess safety measures.
“It shouldn’t just be the Housing Authority. Immediately, all landlords, property owners should do a check on all safety measures as it relates to fires,” Clarke said.
Eyewitness News learned that there were multiple fire alarms inside the multi-unit home, but officials say none of them were working.MORE NEWS: Philadelphia's Lindsay Noel Set To Become First Woman Magician To Appear On 'Penn & Teller: Fool Us'
Firefighters remind residents that they can call Philly311 to request a smoke alarm and they will install it for you.