PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia city leaders are reacting to a fatal rowhome fire that claimed the lives of 12 people, including eight children, on Wednesday morning.
The deadly inferno broke out at a duplex on the 800 block of North 23rd Street and caused extensive damage beyond the loss of life.
Two people, including one child, were also hurt and taken to local hospitals for treatment.
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"We are devastated by the tragic loss of life–several of whom were children–and my thoughts are with the families and loved ones of the victims," Mayor Jim Kenney wrote in a tweet.
He went on to thank the Philadelphia Fire Department and first responders for their efforts to bring the fire under control as well as help the community.
Archbishop Nelson Perez his "deep condolences" to all those who are grieving amid the tragic loss of life Wednesday.
"Please join me in praying fervently for the happy repose of those who have died, the speedy recovery for those who were injured, and in gratitude for the fire, police, and medical personnel responding to this tragedy," wrote the Archbishop of Philadelphia.
City Council President Darrell L. Clarke pledged support for the all of the agencies who will be a part of the investigation.
"I know that all Philadelphians join me today in grieving the tremendous loss of life from this morning’s fire at 869 North 23rd Street. We send our prayers to the family members, friends and neighbors of the six adults and seven children who died this morning’s fire. We also send our thoughts to the two residents currently hospitalized and pray for their full recovery," Clarke wrote in a lengthy statement about the fire.
The Philadelphia Housing Authority also reacted to the fire, calling it an "imaginable loss of life" that has "shaken all of us at PHA."
Officials from the PHA said it was too early for them to say anything else, but that they will be working to support their residents in any way that they can.
First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, a Philadelphia native, extended her condolences to the victims and families of the tragic fire.
"My heart is with the families and loved ones of the victims of the tragic fire in Philadelphia," Dr. Biden tweeted on Wednesday afternoon.
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner called the deadly fire a "unfathomable occurrence" and echoed calls for a full investigation into the cause of the blaze.
"The City owes it to the victims, the survivors, and to all Philadelphians to conduct a thorough investigation into this travesty, so that we can make sure it never happens again," Krasner said.
Gov. Tom Wolf also expressed his sorrow for those killed in the fire, tweeting Wednesday: "My heart goes out to the loved ones left to cope with this heartbreaking loss of life."
In a follow-up tweet, Wolf shared a link to mental health service for "anyone experiencing trauma, grief, or anxiety."
State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta also issued a statement on the fire that took place in the Fairmount Neighborhood of Philadelphia this morning that left at least 13 dead and two injured.
"I’m having a hard time finding the words to express my deep sorrow for the heartbreaking loss of at least 13 lives, including 7 children, in this morning’s fire in Philadelphia," Kenyatta said, adding that the tragedy "weighs heavily" on his heart.
An investigation into the cause of the fire remains underway at this time.