Philadelphia (CBS) – First Philadelphia and now New York City. Another residential fire has ended with double-digit deaths and a heartbroken community.
This was the result Wednesday in Fairmount after flames engulfed a home owned by the Philadelphia Housing Authority.
Read more: Philadelphia weather: Arctic breeze, bone-chilling winds will give coldest day in past 3 years
And on Sunday in the Bronx, a skyscraper apartment building caught fire after a space heater failed.
Eyewitness news reporter Kerry Corrado talks about fire safety with national experts.
As temperatures drop, many people are trying to find ways to heat their homes. Fire officials want you to be safe doing this.
Fire prevention is now at the fore after two fatal apartment fires. One on Sunday killed 17 people in the Bronx, and another in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood on January 5, killing 12.
Shen Ray said, “We know that these fires should not have killed so many people.”
Ray and Ron Ciarnicki, both former fire chiefs, are fighting to reinsert sprinklers in old tall buildings and multi-family homes that were never equipped with them before.
They say there is no federal law to do this and it needs to be changed.
Read more: Philadelphia Police Investigating After Woman Knifes Twice at Center City PATCO Station
“These fire buildings do not have fire extinguishers. They were built before codes and standards required fire sprinklers, but our emphasis is on retrofitting these buildings because they are high-risk businesses, said Ray, president of the National Fire Sprinkler Association.
He says that if sprinklers were present in apartment buildings, he believes it would have made a difference.
“If the building had been adequately protected with fire extinguishers, these fires would have been kept small and firefighters had time to arrive, evacuate and rescue people,” Ray said.
As the investigation into both fires continues, firefighters are also offering tips to stay safe as people try to heat their homes and find ways to stay warm as temperatures drop.
“You need an exit plan, you need to know what to do when a smoke alarm goes off, you need to know what to do if the food in the stove catches on fire, and you need to know what to do with safety components. There is a need to look at space related to heaters, alternative heating systems,” said Sirnicky, executive director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
You can contact your local fire department for more information on fire prevention.
Eyewitness News also conducted investigations into the Philadelphia fire and the day with ATF officials, who said investigations into last week’s fatal fire at Fairmount are ongoing. While we saw the crew back on the scene on Monday, there was no update available on their progress.
Recently Spike #philadelphia The fire continues in the houses in the area. Members of the Red Cross Disaster Action Team have responded to 10 fires in SEPA since Friday and assisted 33 people. Please review our free Red Cross fire safety resources to help protect you and your family: https://t.co/VCoE29Kn2t pic.twitter.com/jfQZlWR3Gs
— Red Cross Southeastern PA (@RedCrossPhilly) 10 January 2022
The Red Cross says they have seen a spike in domestic fires in the Philadelphia area. They have responded to 10 fires in southeastern Pennsylvania since Friday.
more news: Atlantic City catch makes TSA’s 2021 list of most unusual discoveries in airport security
Click here to see how you can help the victims of the deadly Fairmount fire.