1 dead, 3 firefighters injured in Northeast Philadelphia house blaze

NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA -- One person was killed and three firefighters were injured after a fast-moving fire ripped through a home in Northeast Philadelphia.

Thick flames burst out of the windows of the two-story rowhome just after 4 p.m. Friday in the 3200 block of Birch Road.

The flames became so intense that it knocked firefighters on the roof over.

Inside the house, crews discovered an adult man dead.

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said, "They made an aggressive interior attack which is what we always do and encountered those challenging conditions inside the building and encountered an occupant that appears to be deceased."

The commissioner called the conditions inside challenging, neighbors say the occupant was a hoarder.

Three firefighters were injured in the blaze.

The homes on either side of where the fire began suffered extensive damage.

The Red Cross is assisting six people.

Neighbors lined the block tonight waiting to learn if residents were okay.

"I'm sad about it. My heart goes out to the family," said David Hoppel of Northeast Philadelphia.

Ron Huber of Northeast Philadelphia added, "Our neighbors were running out of the house when we could see the smoke come out then when fire Department came they opened the house up and it went up in flames."

"This is what we call an all-hands fire which meant we had 20 fire apparatus and 57 Firefighters, medics and support personnel," said Commissioner Thiel.

Crews got the fire under control in an hour, but they continued to sift through the debris well into the night, bringing in a Backhoe.

The injured firefighters are all expected to be okay.

Red Paw Relief was also on the scene and helped remove several pets including a Bearded Dragon.

The identity of the deceased man has not been released.