Residents displaced in 2-alarm fire in West Philadelphia

June 1, 2013 4:57:55 PM PDT
Several West Philadelphia residents are homeless following a Saturday morning fire.

Peeking through plumes of smoke, fire crews armed with hoses worked to attack a two-alarm fire on the 4700 block of Chestnut Street around 6:00 this morning.

Donald Morgan lives next door to the vacant building where the morning blaze began. He explained, "I opened the door and there was nothing but smoke I couldn't see anything. I was running in the smoke - I was coughing."

Morgan believes smoke alarms saved his life.

"Because I was asleep. I wouldn't have woken up if that didn't happen - could've been the end."

Heat from flames and the steamy sun made the work extra grueling for firefighters.

Philadelphia Fire Department Deputy Chief James Bonner tells Action News, "They're monitored, cooled down, if they're heat fatigued [we] take them out of service."

The fire began to spread to neighboring buildings, and within an hour the flames were knocked down.

Fortunately, no one was hurt.

Fire officials say there may be about a dozen or so people who can't go back to their homes tonight. The Red Cross is assisting the fire victims.

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