PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — First Philadelphia and now New York City. Another residential fire has ended with a double-digit death toll and a heartbroken community.
This was the aftermath in Fairmount Wednesday after a row home owned by the Philadelphia Housing Authority went up in flames.NBA At 75: Former 76er Dr. J Says Players From Many Eras Built League
And Sunday in the Bronx, a fire in a high-rise apartment building after a space heater malfunctioned.
Eyewitness News reporter Kerri Corrado spoke with national experts about fire safety.
As the temperatures drop, many people are trying to find ways to heat their homes. Fire officials want you to be safe in doing so.
Fire prevention is now at the forefront following two deadly apartment fires. One on Sunday in the Bronx killed 17 people, and the other on Jan. 5 in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood, killed 12 people.
“We know these fires should not claim this many lives,” Shane Ray said.
Ray and Ron Siarnicki, both former fire chiefs, have been fighting to retrofit sprinklers in older high rises and multi-family homes that were never equipped with them in the first place.
They say there is no federal law to do so and that needs to change.READ MORE: Sharon Hill Police Officers Charged With Manslaughter In Fatal Shooting Of 8-Year-Old Fanta Bility
“The buildings in these fires do not have fire sprinklers. They were built before the codes and standards required fire sprinklers in them but our push is to retrofit these buildings because they are high-risk occupancies,” said Ray, president of the National Fire Sprinkler Association.
They say if sprinklers were present in the apartment buildings, they believe it would have made a difference.
“If the building was adequately protected with fire sprinklers these fires would have been kept small and allowed firefighters time to arrive, evacuate, and rescue the people,” Ray said.
As the investigations into both fires continue, firefighters are also offering tips to stay safe as people try to find ways to heat their homes and stay warm as the temperatures drop.
“You need to have an exit plan, you need to know what to do if the smoke alarm goes off, you need to know what to do if the food in the stove catches fire, and you need to look at the safety components related space heaters, alternative heating systems,” said Siarnicki, executive director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
For more information about fire prevention, you can ask your local fire department.
Eyewitness News also spent the day checking with Philadelphia fire and ATF officials who said the investigation of last week’s fatal fire in Fairmount continues. While we did see crews back out on the scene Monday, there were no updates available on their progress.
The recent spike in #Philadelphia area home fires continues. Red Cross Disaster Action Team members responded to 10 fires & assisted 33 people since Friday in SEPA. Pls review our free Red Cross fire safety resources to help protect you & your family: https://t.co/VCoE29Kn2t pic.twitter.com/jfQZlWR3Gs
— Red Cross Southeastern PA (@RedCrossPhilly) January 10, 2022
The Red Cross says they have seen a spike in home fires in the Philadelphia area. They have responded to 10 fires in Southeastern Pennsylvania since Friday.MORE NEWS: Police Searching For Older Model Cadillac In Connection To Murder Of Pregnant Woman Last November
Click here to see how you can help the victims of the deadly Fairmount fire.