Philadelphia firefighter died in constructing that collapsed; 5 different folks rescued

4 of his comrades and a metropolis employee had been pulled alive from the rubble, a hearth official stated.

The collapse of 300 W. Indiana Ave. within the metropolis’s Fairhill neighborhood got here shortly earlier than 3:30 a.m., — about 90 minutes after firefighters had been known as to combat the hearth there — and despatched colleagues scrambling to rescue these trapped inside, 1st Deputy Fireplace Commissioner Craig Murphy stated.

“Our division misplaced a member bravely combating a hearth after which caught in a constructing collapse after the hearth was over,” he stated.

“We simply completed up pulling … our brothers out of this place. It may be a tough few weeks developing,” Murphy advised reporters Saturday morning.

Particulars about what led to the hearth within the constructing and what it housed weren’t instantly obtainable. Metropolis information describe it as a three-story construction in a business/mixed-use a part of city.

4 firefighters and a metropolis licensing and inspections employee had been rescued and despatched to a hospital. The licensing employee was launched, and the 4 firefighters remained hospitalized Saturday morning in steady situation, Murphy stated.

Later Saturday, officers recognized the firefighter who died as Lt. Sean Williamson, 51, in accordance with a information launch from town. Williamson was a 27-year veteran of the hearth division, the discharge stated.

Williamson was “certainly one of our most skilled lieutenants,” Fireplace Commissioner Adam Okay. Thiel stated throughout a briefing.

“I am virtually speechless,” Thiel stated. “I am not finished crying.”

Officers recognized the 5 others injured as Fireplace Marshal Lt. Sylvester Burton; Lt. Clarence Johnson; firefighter Dennis Daly; firefighter Robert Brennan, Jr.; and Thomas Rybakowski, a supervisor with town’s Division of Licenses and Inspections.

The Fireplace Marshal’s Workplace is investigating the reason for the blaze with assist from the ATF, the discharge stated. No trigger has but been decided, it added.

A search and rescue operation after a blaze

Firefighters had been known as to the constructing at 1:53 a.m. due to a field alarm and located a hearth, which they put out, Murphy stated.

As firefighters targeted on displaced residents and “overhaul” — on the lookout for remaining fireplace in hid areas — the constructing collapsed, Murphy stated. Eight occupants of the property had been safely evacuated, town’s information launch stated.

Firefighters comb through the rubble.

One individual jumped from the second flooring to keep away from getting trapped. Others had been pulled out systematically, Murphy stated.

Throughout rescue efforts, rescuers had “dialogue” with these trapped, together with tapping on the particles “so anyone might know that anyone was in there,” Murphy stated.

Three firefighters and the inspector had been initially trapped however rescued and brought to the hospital, the information launch stated.

This was a “lean-to/pancake collapse,” Murphy stated, in that whereas some collapsed materials may need fallen flat on a floor, different materials may need leaned in opposition to a wall, creating area. “There have been plenty of void areas,” Murphy stated.

On the website, firefighters and others stood close to or walked round a big pile — greater than head-high — of metallic, wooden and different particles, video from CNN affiliate WPVI confirmed.

Williamson was certainly one of two fireplace division members who had been trapped underneath particles after the collapse, town’s information launch stated. He was pronounced deceased on the scene at roughly 6:45 a.m., officers stated.

The opposite member, Brennan, was taken to the hospital and is in steady situation, the discharge stated.

The hearth response for the constructing’s collapse was positioned underneath management shortly after 7:10 a.m., it added.

No less than 9 companies helped with restoration efforts, together with Philadelphia police and the American Crimson Cross, the hearth division added on Twitter.

CNN’s Michelle Watson and Paradise Afshar contributed to this report.

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