July 4, 2022

Philadelphia firefighter dies after building collapses on Fairhill West Indiana Avenue; Another 5 people were injured

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) – A firefighter was killed when a building caught fire in Philadelphia and then collapsed early Saturday morning, fire officials said.

The fallen firefighter was not immediately identified, but Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy said he has 27 years of departmental experience. “It will be tough for a few weeks,” Murphy said at a news conference at 8 p.m.

The fire broke out at about 2 a.m. in a three-story restaurant and apartment building located in the 300 block of West Indiana Avenue in the Fairhill section of the city. The fire was extinguished, but then at 3:24 a.m. the building collapsed

Four other firefighters and an inspector from the city’s licenses and inspection department were also trapped during the crash. A firefighter jumped from the second story of the wreckage, Murphy said.

Others were evicted at various times.

Two firefighters and an L&I employee have been released from Temple University Hospital. A firefighter is in hospital in critical but stable condition.

The firefighter died at the scene.

“You can’t predict this,” Murphy told reporters at a news conference. “It was a catastrophic accident that hit our industry hard.”

Investigators were investigating what caused the wreckage. Murphy said the building was damaged by the fire, but the cause of the crash is unknown.

Mayor Jim Kenny said in a Twitter post, “I apologize to members of the Philadelphia Fire Department and to all of Philadelphia in Philadelphia who lost one of us in the line of duty today.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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