Investigators are looking into the possibility that a 5-year-old child started a deadly fire in Philadelphia that killed 12 people, according to a subpoena.
The fire in a home in the Philly Mountains was likely started by a child playing with a lighter near the Christmas tree, the warrant said.
The information was revealed in a search warrant on Thursday as city and federal officials try to determine what caused the deadly fire.
The fire claimed the lives of the two sisters, some of their children and others early Wednesday morning.
It was the only deadly fire in the city in more than a century.
Fire officials have not yet released much information about the cause of the fire.
Matthew Varisco, the head of the Philly branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), said more specific details about the cause of the fire would soon be available.
“I know that we hope to be able to provide the specific origin and cause of this fire and provide some answers for loved ones and really, for the city,” he said.
ATF experts and other investigators photographed and scrutinized the three-story brick home, which burned down on Thursday.
The building is owned by the Philadelphia Housing Authority, the city’s public housing agency and the state’s largest landlord.
The president of the city’s housing authority, Kelvin Jeremiah, said 14 people, 10 of them children, were allowed to live in the four-bedroom apartment upstairs where the fire broke out.
Six people are allowed to live in the lower quarters, he said.
The fire department previously said none of the smoke alarms in the building were working properly. according to the Associated Press.
However, housing agency officials said that the detectors were working during an inspection in May 2021.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/4411374/fatal-philadelphia-christmas-tree-fire-maybe-started-child/ Fatal Fairmont Philadelphia Christmas tree fire possibly ‘started by a child, 5, playing with a lighter’ kills 12