Man dies in house fire in Cedarbrook section of Philadelphia, officials said

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Sunday, October 4, 2020
Man found dead after fire rips through Cedarbrook home
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Man found dead after fire rips through Cedarbrook home

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A man died in a house fire in the city's Cedarbrook section late Saturday, fire officials said.

The fire broke out at 11:17 p.m. on the 8400 block of Williams Street.

Officials later identified the man as 61-year-old Kenneth Petty. Family members told Action News Petty had fallen ill a few years before and couldn't move very well.

Neighbors say Petty had always been a hard worker who loved to help out before he was sick.

"He did handy work stuff real good," said neighbor Sally Claud. "He fixed everything. He did yard work."

Petty had moved in with his sister, Sherry a few years ago so she could take care of him.

Neighbors said when the fire broke out late Saturday night, Sherry tried to get her brother outside but he didn't make it out alive.

"We just got up and ran outside, and at that time they were coming out the house and said they couldn't save him," said neighbor Tonya Hayes.

It took approximately 15 minutes for 53 firefighters to get the fire under control, then they worked to put out hotspots for several more hours.

The family, who has lived in this home for more than 20 years, said they lost nearly everything in the blaze.

Neighbors on both sides say they have smoke and water damage in their homes as well.

"Probably get me a hotel or something because I already have respiratory and I have a pace-maker. I don't need any other stuff," said Claud.

Claud says the pandemic has made this a difficult year for so many people on this block, and now dealing with the loss of Petty feels like it's almost too much to bear.

"You should always tell the people that you love because these things happen and there's not always a chance," she said.

Fire officials said there were no smoke detectors inside the home.

Officials are reminding the public that anyone who needs smoke detectors can call 311 and firefighters will bring and install them.