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Deadly Philadelphia Rowhouse Fire Started With a Christmas Tree

Officials said the fire that killed 12 people started when a lighter ignited the tree. Investigators determined that a 5-year-old boy, who told the police he had been playing with the lighter, was the only person in the part of the apartment where the fire began.

We believe with certainty, so 99 to 100 percent confidence, that the first item ignited in this blaze was a Christmas tree, a Christmas tree on Jan. 5 that was in the home. We believe with near certainty based on the evidence that the ignition source for that tree was a lighter that was located nearby. Now that leaves us with, as many of you have seen reported, the words of a 5-year-old child who is essentially one of two survivors of this tragedy. And really the sole survivor, the only person who was located, based on the exhaustive interviews conducted by these trained investigators, the only person who was on the second floor, which is where the tree and the lighter were located at the time we believe the blaze ignited. So we are left with the words of that 5-year-old child, that traumatized 5-year-old child, to help us understand how the lighter and the tree came together with tragic consequences.

U.S.

Deadly Philadelphia Rowhouse Fire Started With a Christmas Tree

By The Associated Press January 11, 2022

Officials said the fire that killed 12 people started when a lighter ignited the tree. Investigators determined that a 5-year-old boy, who told the police he had been playing with the lighter, was the only person in the part of the apartment where the fire began.

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