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The Post  
12 Killed including 8 Children in Philly Home Fire; Pennypack Mandarin Duck Dies; Icy 19 Car Crash
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 01/05/22 5:58 pm | updated: 01/05/22 5:58 pm
A rowhome fire in Philadelphia killed 12 people, including eight children, on Wednesday morning, 1/5. The victims range in age from two to 33 years old. It started around 6:40 a.m. on the 800 block of North 23rd Street in the Fairmount neighborhood. The Philadelphia fire department arrived to heavy flames coming from the second floor. The building is a three-story rowhome which was converted into a duplex. There is an apartment on the first floor and a second apartment on the second and third floors. There were 8 occupants in the first floor unit. There were 18 occupants in the upstairs apartment. The house is owned by the Philadelphia Housing Authority. PHA says it inspected the building last spring and all smoke detectors were working at that time. Firefighters say the detectors were not operating during the fire. The Philadelphia Fire Marshal and the ATF are investigating the cause of the fire.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said, "This is without a doubt, one of the most tragic days in our city's history. Loss of so many people in such a tragic way. I don't have much more to say other than please keep all these people and these children in your prayers."

First Lady Jill Biden said, "My heart is with the families and loved ones of the victims of the tragic fire in Philadelphia."

President and CEO of the Philadelphia Housing Authorities, Kelvin Jerimiah, wrote, "This unimaginable loss of life has shaken all of us at PHA. It is too early for us to say more. The property was last inspected by PHA in May 2021, and all smoke detectors were operating properly at that time. The Fire Department, ATF and others are handling the investigation. Any information on the cause will come through them. Our primary goal right now is to support our residents in any way we can."

The Pennypack Environmental Center in Northeast Philadelphia announced on Tuesday, ¼, that the beautiful Mandarin duck has died. The colorful bird is native to East Asia, but it settled in the park back in November. It attracted many onlookers and photographers seeking a glimpse of the rare bird. Officials did not disclose a cause of death, but do not believe it was from the cold. Some people keep these kind of ducks as pets. This one may have been released or escaped back in the fall.

Icy conditions early Wednesday morning, 1/5, were the cause of several crashes around the Philadelphia area. 19 vehicles were involved in a crash around 6:30 a.m. on the Passayunk Avenue Bridge in Southwest Philadelphia. That included a SEPTA bus and a school bus. No one was seriously injured. No children were on the bus at the time. The bridge was closed until 9 a.m. A similar multi-car crash happened on the Henry Ave. bridge between Roxborough and East Falls. There was a Winter Weather Advisory on Wednesday morning for possible freezing rain.

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