By Matt Petrillo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — New legislation from Philadelphia City Council Thursday would offer property owners a tax break for installing fire escape ladders. The proposal comes just weeks after a deadly duplex fire in Fairmount that left 12 people dead.

A councilmember Eyewitness News talked to calls it a life-saving ordinance. Many people CBS3 talked to agree.

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A makeshift memorial of stuffed animals and flowers still sits outside the Fairmount home where 12 lives were lost in a tragic inferno earlier this month.

“This was a horrible tragedy,” a man said.

Neighbors point out the Philadelphia Housing Authority-owned home was not equipped with any fire escape ladder.

“All multi-families are supposed to have them in, aren’t they?” a man said.

The Philadelphia code requires just one means of egress  — that’s a clear path from a home’s interior directly to outdoors without traveling through another home for one- and two-family properties. For example, a front door is an acceptable means of egress, according to the city’s Licenses & Inspections Department.

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Now City Council President Darrell Clarke has a proposed bill that would reimburse property owners in the form of tax credits for the installation of fire-escape ladders.

Many go for under $100, like one we found on Amazon.

“We decided to provide a tax credit to not create a financial burden on the landlords but incentivize them to put one in a window in a two- or three-story building,” Clarke said.

HAPCO Philadelphia, which represents about 2,000 small landlords in the city, believes members will take the opportunity to make their properties safer.

“We think it’s a great idea and it’s certainly going to help out as far as saving lives and it’s a great alternative to sprinkler systems, which are very, very costly,” HAPCO Philadelphia President Greg Wertman said.

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The Philadelphia Fire Department is still reviewing the proposal and didn’t want to comment but Council President Clarke hopes it gets passed quickly.