PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The school district of Philadelphia is providing counseling and support to those grieving after a tragic fire in Fairmount that killed at least 12 people, including eight children.
“The School District of Philadelphia is heartbroken by the tragic news of yesterday’s home fire in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia that killed 12 people, including children belonging to our district. Our thoughts and prayers are with family members, friends and school communities. We are with those who are saddened by this unimaginable loss,” the district said in a statement.
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The district says students and staff members will have access to trained emotional health professionals from the school district’s emergency/crisis response team, school-based social workers and counselors.
Outside community partners will also be available through the Uplift Center for Greeting Children. They are experts in supporting people coping with traumatic loss.
The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia has worked with the office of Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clark to establish a fund to provide assistance to families affected by the incident.
CBS3 learned that many of those who lost their lives in the fire were members of Kadira Purifoy’s family.
Kadira Purifoy said, “Losing sisters, I never thought it would happen.” “Sisters, nieces and nephews.”
She lost two sisters – 30-year-old Virginia Thomas and 34-year-old Rose McDonald – and her four nieces and nephews died.
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“I don’t have any ideas right now. I just, it hurts me,” said Keita Purifoy, also the victim’s sister.
This picture of children is from a few years ago.
Kadira Purifoy said, “Going forward, it seems to me that something should be done in her name, as far as some kind of safety is ensured in case of a fire.”
Another family, who lived on the first floor, managed to escape the fire.
Debra Jackson says her sister lived on the first floor of the house with three children. They all got injured but escaped.
“Her two sons got burnt, she is probably just breathing smoke but thank God they are alive. My heart goes out to the family who lost all of their family,” Jackson said.
The Red Cross says they are helping a family of five who fled from the first floor.
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a gofundme Has been started to help cover the funeral expenses of the victims.