1 dead, 2 injured in Strawberry Mansion house fire

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Officials say one person is dead and two others were injured in a house blaze in Philadelphia's Strawberry Mansion section.

It happened after 9 a.m. Tuesday on the 2500 block of North Newkirk Street.

Firefighters arrived to flames and heavy smoke showing inside a 2-story end of a row home.

Rodney Corbitt of Strawberry Mansion said, "We were coming down the street, we heard these screams, and we got down here. We see the whole house engulfed in flames. Smoke and fire coming out of every window."

Corbitt says he tried his best to help that person trapped inside.

It was just after 9 a.m. when he says he noticed the home in the 2500 block of Newkirk Street was on fire.

He says he ran down the street and tried to climb inside to help.

"Jumped up on the second-floor bathroom window. Smoke was just coming out the window. I ripped off the screen then called to let somebody know the window was open," Corbitt added.

He says at first he didn't immediately hear anything, so he tried to go in further.

"But the smoke pushed me back out. It was too black, too smoky. I was coughing and choking. I grabbed on the metal pane around the window was hot. I was trying to hold onto it. I still have soot on my hands from it," Corbitt said.

And then he heard another cry for help.

He said, "Nobody ever came. But I still heard the scream. The lady was in there."

Right now fire officials confirm one person was killed.

Two others inside managed to escape by jumping the porch balcony.

Officials haven't confirmed yet who the victim is, but Corbitt and other neighbors say a woman lived there.

She was older and needed help to get around.

"Yeah she used a cane," said Corbitt.

He says he's heartbroken to see such tragedy today.

"She was very funny. She would always say something to make you laugh. Cursing, in a good way to make you laugh," added Corbitt.

The home next door to where the fire started belongs to a couple and their kids.

Their home is badly damaged.

They told me they're now seeking help from the Red Cross moving forward.
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