PHILADELPHIA, PA. (THECOUNT) — Although there has not yet been an official cause of a tragic apartment fire Wednesday morning in Philadelphia, multiple reports said Thursday the blaze that killed 12 including eight children, was likely started by a child, 5 or younger, playing with a lighter.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports a search warrant filed to get access to the Fairmount property included language about a young child — 5 or younger — playing with a lighter and lit a Christmas tree on fire.


A similar story reported by NBC 10 said a child who ran from the property told authorities a Christmas tree “caught fire.”

The fire broke out at about 6:36 a.m. at a Philadelphia Housing Authority property that was a row home converted into two apartment units, one occupying the first floor and the other the second and third floors.

The property had at least four battery-operated smoke detectors, but First Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy said none of them were working.

According to the Philadelphia Housing Authority, the property was last inspected in May 2021 and officials said at the time the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors were working at the time, reports Patch.

The investigation is being led by the Philadelphia Fire Marshal’s Office with the Philadelphia Fire Department and the ATF’s National Response Team assisting.


Geo quick facts: Fairmount is home to renowned museums along Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Inspired by the Champs-Élysées, the boulevard attracts plenty of foot traffic to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Families enjoy the Philadelphia Zoo and tours of the spooky Eastern State Penitentiary museum, while young crowds fill Fairmount Avenue’s cafes and bistros. At night, lights from Boathouse Row create a spectacular view – wikipedia.