Investigation into deadly Olney fire continues

February 23, 2011 10:19:08 AM PST
Investigators continue looking into the cause of a fire that killed two small children on Tuesday in the Olney section of Philadelphia.

The two story rowhome was already burning like a blow torch by the time firefighters arrived at 134 Sparks Street.

Intense flames poured from the second story front room where the bodies of two boys were found. They were seven and nine years old.

Four children and four adults, members of an extended family originally from Cambodia, were rushed to the hospital suffering smoke inhalation and burns. Two of them were in critical condition as of Tuesday night.

The house apparently had no working smoke detectors. Investigators found only one in the basement with no battery.

They also say there were numerous extension cords going from room to room, connected to space heaters and various appliances, overloading the electric outlets.

The nearest engine company was out of service yesterday as part of the city's rolling brownouts to save money.

However, the fire commissioner says the first engine arrived on scene in less than five minutes, an acceptable time frame.

Had it not been a snow day, the children would have been at school yesterday, and the two boys would still be alive.

The owner of the house was out of the country in Cambodia on Tuesday. Surviving family members are being housed by the Red Cross.