Philadelphia police investigate deadly arson in city's Frankford section

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia homicide detectives were investigating a deadly arson in the city's Frankford section on Wednesday morning.

Investigators arrived to the home on the 4700 block of Oakland Street and identified the victim as Michael Zappile, 52.

A neighbor, who wanted to remain anonymous, shared an exclusive surveillance video with Action News which shows the potential suspect pouring fluid and lighting a match.

Action News chose to blur the video to not jeopardize the investigation, but many on 4700 block of Oakland Street said it was a notorious drug house.

"It's a sad situation and would hate to see this happen to anyone, especially with the lives lost in there, but this was a tragedy waiting to happen. I actually feel a bit of relief, the chaos I had to deal with for the past couple of years," the neighbor said.

L&I had been boarding up the home all day. Neighbors believe it must have been a transaction that went wrong.

They said they had been calling investigators for years about activity at the home. They add it's sad things ended up with a man losing his life and many lives being in jeopardy.

"I had to take my kids outside. One didn't have shoes on, the other one didn't have a coat and we really didn't have anywhere to go," the neighbor described.

Action News put in calls to detectives who said at this point in the investigation they were not releasing any new information.
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