2 dead, 2 injured after fire spreads to 5 homes in West Philadelphia

The call came in around 5:25 p.m. for a fire on the 5800 block of Chestnut Street.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021
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Chopper 6 over fatal fire in West Philadelphia on August 2, 2021.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Two people are dead and two others are injured after a fire spread to multiple homes on Monday evening in West Philadelphia.

The call came in around 5:25 p.m. for a fire on the 5800 block of Chestnut Street.

Police say a woman and man were both found dead inside one of the homes. Police have not identified the victims, but neighbors said the man and woman were a brother and sister in their 50s.

"It's two people in there that are handicapped, and all I could think about is they need to get out of there," said neighbor Wanda Brackett. "We heard this boom. When we turned around, the flames were shooting out of the house."

An 11-year-old boy and a 28-year-old woman were able to escape the flames. Both victims were also hospitalized for smoke inhalation but are expected to survive.

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Deacon Antoine Stewart saw the fire from his church across the street, Emmanuel Christian Center, and quickly rushed over to help.

"It was just so hot. We couldn't go in there to help anybody. It was just horrible," said Stewart.

Stewart said the church's food pantry has helped the victims in the past.

"They were taking food over to them on a regular basis," said Stewart. "It just breaks my heart. There's so much tragedy in this neighborhood."

In all, five homes caught fire, according to Philadelphia police.

Investigators are still working to determine what sparked the blaze.

The American Red Cross says it's assisting four families -- a total of 15 people -- affected by the Chestnut Street fire.