Riots break out in Philadelphia as residents blame deaths of 4 children on firefighters


More than 200 people gathered outside a fire station in the Southwest section of Philadelphia to protest the death of four kids who were killed in an apartment fire on July 5.

According to a report by ABC6 in Philadelphia, the four children (1-month-old Taj Jacque, 4-year-old Patrick Sanyeha, and 4-year-old twins Marie and Mariallah Boaway) were caught in a fire that spread through eight row homes. Others were injured by the blaze and some jumped from windows to escape the fire.

Nearby residents were upset with firefighters and claimed that it took 30 minutes for help to arrive. Some believed that race played a role in the late response.  In protest, 200 people gathered outside the station.

Authorities say the peaceful protests eventually turned violent as some threw water bottles and confronted police. Several people were arrested during the protest for blocking the fire station in an attempt to prevent firetrucks from leaving the station.

Reportedly, the initial call to the fire station was a couch fire on a porch. After several other calls, firefighters responded to the 3-alarm blaze. The city’s fire commissioner says the first fire truck arrived within five minutes.

Although an investigation will be conducted, Philly Mayor Michael Nutter stands behind the fire department.

The American Red Cross has provided financial assistance for 32 people who were affected by the fire.



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