Fairmount fire the deadliest in Philadelphia in more than 100 years

The city hasn't seen a loss of life this large from a single fire since 1901.

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Thursday, January 6, 2022
Fairmount fire the deadliest in Philly in more than 100 years
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12 people were killed in a fire in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia, becoming the deadliest blaze the city has seen in more than a century.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A total of 12 people were killed in a fire early Wednesday morning in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia, becoming the deadliest blaze the city has seen in more than a century.

Those killed in that fire included eight children.

"It was terrible. I've been around for 35 years now and this is probably one of the worst fires I have ever been to," said Craig Murphy, first deputy fire commissioner.

The city's deadliest fire was back in October 1901. An eight-story building on the 1200 block of Market Street killed 22 people.

A family of nine people, including seven children, were killed in a fire on Parrish Street back in 1967.

In May 1985, 11 people died on the 6200 block of Osage Avenue, when police dropped explosives on the roof of a house where members of the group MOVE were holed up.

In 1975, a fire swallowed the Gulf Oil refinery in South Philadelphia, and eight firefighters lost their lives battling the flames. More than a dozen others were injured. The fire was the result of an explosion caused by an oil storage tank that ignited.

In December 2008, seven people watching a movie in the basement of a Southwest Philadelphia row home were trapped when a fire broke out. Three adults and four children, the youngest a 1-year-old boy, died in the flames. At the time investigators said there were no smoke detectors in the home.