Loved Ones Heartbroken after 12 killed in Fairmount Fire – CBS Philly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Wednesday was a dark day in Philadelphia when one of the deadliest fires in the city’s history tore through a townhouse. At least 12 people have died, including eight children.

We learn about the people who died in the fire.

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The loved ones of the victims are crushed over the losses of a dozen human lives. They say many of the victims were family members.

From above, Chopper 3 captured a procession of police vehicles carrying the victims’ bodies from North 23rd Street to the medical office.

Wednesday night, neighbors placed candles and flowers on the corner of 23rd and Parrish Streets in Fairmount in honor of the 12 lost lives.

“Losing sisters, I never thought this would happen,” Qaadira Purifoy said.

Purifoy says many of the people who lost their lives in the fire were her family members.

“Sisters, nieces and nephews,” Purifoy said.

Four of her nieces and nephews died. This picture of the kids is from a few years ago.

“No fire alarms worked, so I feel like this could have been avoided,” Purifoy said.

She also lost two sisters – 30-year-old Virginia Thomas and 34-year-old Rose McDonald.

READ MORE: 8 children among 12 died after fire in Philadelphia Housing Authority Apartments in Fairmount

“I have no thoughts right now. I’m just in pain,” said Keta Purifoy, also the victim’s sister.

“As I move forward, I just feel that something should have been done in their name, as far as ensuring some form of security when it comes to fire,” Qaadira Purifoy said.

One of the victims was a young girl named Natasha. Video taken inside Natasha’s kindergarten in Fairmount from a few years ago shows the then 5-year-old dancing in a green skirt, in front and in the middle.

“Natasha was the cutest little girl,” Suzy Zelley said.

Zelley says her son went to kindergarten with Natasha and calls her a clever young girl who was taken prematurely.

“It’s devastating. This morning I went to my mother’s house to check on her and she had the news on and I looked at the house and I knew the house. I knew the house and she said 13 people died and mine heart fell. I had to sit down, “said Zelley.

“As I move forward, I just feel that something should be done in their name, as far as ensuring some form of security when it comes to fire,” Purifoy said.

But there were survivors. Debra Jackson says her sister lived on the first floor of the home with three children. Everyone was injured but escaped.

“Two of her sons were burned, she’s probably just smoke inhalation, but thank God they’re alive. My heart goes out to the family who lost their entire family,” Jackson said.

The Red Cross says they are helping a family of five who fled the first floor.

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ONE GoFundMe has been started to help cover funeral expenses for the victims.


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