PHILADELPHIA, P.A. (AP) — One firefighter has died after being trapped in a building that caught fire in Philadelphia and then collapsed early Saturday, fire officials said.
The fallen firefighter was not immediately identified, but Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy said he was a 27-year department veteran.
The building had caught fire just before 2 a.m. Saturday, Murphy said. The fire had been put out, but then the building collapsed at 3:24 a.m.
Four other firefighters and an inspector with the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections were also trapped at the time of the collapse. One firefighter jumped from the second story of the rubble, Murphy said.
The others were pulled out at various times. They were taken to the hospital and said to be in stable condition. The inspector has since been released.
Numerous firefighters were at the scene as the rescue effort unfolded, and some were seen hugging or wiping tears from their eyes, multiple news outlets reported.
“You can’t predict this,” Murphy told reporters at a news conference. “This was just a catastrophic accident that (has) really hurt our department.”
Investigators were looking into what caused the collapse. Murphy said the building had been affected by the fire, but it was unclear what caused it to come down.