Neighbors speak out about Germantown fire that killed one, injured four

- The Philadelphia Fire Department has confirmed that one person has died following a fire in Germantown.

Denise Igess was on the phone with a friend inside her house, when she smelled smoke coming in the window from next door around 6 o'clock tonight.

“I was on the phone calling 911.”

The second floor of her neighbor's home at 56 Clapier Street, was on fire, with people inside.

Neighbors rushed over to help.

Neighbor Thea Roberts said, “Smoke, coming from the house. Young men, Afro-American men, kicking in the door, kicking out the air conditioner, trying to get to the people.”

The smoke, making it nearly impossible to see, as firefighters arrived within four minutes.

Andre Pyatt, another neighbor, said, “It was black, it was dark, they did what they could do.”

“There was also reports that occupants were trapped, our firefighters did a fantastic job getting everyone and anyone out there as quickly as possible. None of our firefighters were harmed in doing so,” Captain William Dixon said.

Firefighters pulled two people out and witnesses say worked to resuscitate them.  Witnesses say one woman couldn't make it outside alone.

“They said she fell down the steps, so evidentially the smoke must have got her as she was trying to get down the steps to get out of the house, but evidentially she was having a problem,” Thea said.

“They brought one lady out the front door, and then they took somebody else from upstairs, so they had to go all the way through the house, so eye had to go upstairs and they brought them off on the rood, and they were trying to resuscitate them on the roof,” Andre said.

Denise said, “One on the roof, on the ledge of the roof, and the wife was on the ground.”

The fire was out in 13 minutes.  But five people were hurt. Two critically, and three others checked for smoke inhalation. Their neighbor's thoughts are now with her friends.

“My prayers are with the family. I hope that everybody will be fine.”

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