'Catastrophic Accident': Philadelphia Firefighters Trapped in Rubble After Deadly Building Collapse

A building collapsed in Philadelphia early Saturday, killing a firefighter who was trapped in the rubble.

Firefighters had responded to the blaze at a three-story building at about 2 a.m. Long after the fire was declared under control and a family that lived upstairs of the first-floor business had escaped, the building collapsed, trapping five firefighters and an inspector from the city Department of Licenses and Inspections, Philadelphia Fire Department First Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Until the collapse, Murphy said the fire was “routine.”

One firefighter died in the collapse.

“Our department lost a member bravely fighting a fire and then caught in a building collapse after the fire was over,” Murphy said, according to CNN.

“We just finished up pulling … our brothers out of this place. It’s going to be a rough few weeks coming up,” Murphy said shortly after 8 a.m.

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Officials said the firefighter who died had been with the department for 27 years, according to WPVI-TV.

The inspector was released from the hospital, while the four rescued firefighters were hospitalized in stable condition, Murphy said, according to WCAU-TV.

“You can’t predict this. This was just a catastrophic accident that really hurt our department,” Murphy said.


Murphy said those who escaped from the wreckage did so at different times.

One person who was in the building at the time it collapsed jumped to safety from the second floor.

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The trapped first responders communicated with rescuers by tapping, according to Fox News.


Patricia Sermarini had rushed to the scene for fear that her son-in-law, a firefighter on duty, was among those trapped, but he was not.

She said the incident scarred all of those present.

”It’s so terrible,” she said, according to the Inquirer. “This is so hard for them. They just want to get home to their families.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.