Man Dies After Fire At Center City Apartment Building

Man Dies After Fire At Center City Apartment Building

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"Oh my God. That's news to us," said residents who were shocked to hear that someone in their Walnut Square Apartment building on South 13th Street in Center City died. This after a fire there Wednesday afternoon.

"I didn't know somebody passed away. That's sad," said Jenifer Francesco. The sound of alarms  blaring sent her running out in only her pajamas. She and her boyfriend William Lafferty live on the third floor.

"A bunch of fire trucks came and then we just saw smoke," said Francesco.

Fire officials say it started in a unit on the 10th floor of the 12 story building.

A 60-year old man was taken to Jefferson Hospital but died of smoke inhalation and a heart attack.

"We saw firefighters up on the balcony of the 10th floor and we heard glass breaking. We saw glass actually fall from the rooftop so we didn't know if they were trying to get in or get somebody out," said Lafferty.

Pat McMahon says fire alarms go off in the building often and that it happened Tuesday.

"I kind of thought it was a regular alarm," said McMahon. Still he didn't want to risk staying in. He grabbed his dog Cali and got out. To his surprise it was the real thing.

"I just came out and took the dog for a walk. I came back and noticed there was smoke coming out of the top," he said.

Fire officials say it took 41 minutes to get the fire under control while neighbors waited for the ok to get safely back in.

Deputy Fire Commissioner Richard Davidson said, "Arriving here during rush hour traffic was the most difficult challenge."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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