Early this morning, an apartment fire broke out in Northeast Philadelphia, killing one male. Around 5:30 a.m., a fire started on the top floor of a two-story apartment located at the 1000 block of Red Lion Road in Bustleton. The blaze took about 30 minutes to get under control. A male victim was discovered. Philadelphia Fire Department Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said the apartment had smoke alarms, but they were not working. No further details are available. LINK
As I left for work early this morning the sound of a news helicopter hovering overhead bid me an ominous greeting. Hovering news helicopters are usually a sign of bad things. My urban instincts proved to be spot on this time. When I got to work the night shift was all abuzz. They passed on the report that there was apparently a fatal fire in my neighborhood early in the morning. That was what the helicopter was filming.
The above paragraph is all that I could find on this story about the horrible loss of another human life in this city due to fire. The deaths just seem to be a steady stream anymore. The death of this person barely warranted a byline buried on a back page. The media barely cover fire deaths and just about totally ignore the fire department. They are in lock step with the Nutter administration on the subject. They refuse to give anything other than minimum coverage to the fire department unless it is some Brass- packed, smoke alarm give away. That or a horrendous tragedy that they can milk for ratings.
But let some “green” product or story about how City Council wants to outlaw white bread come up and they’re all over it. Hours of mindless coverage of the unimportant for the brain dead masses.
This fire was just a few short blocks from my house. I drive by there all the time. Since it was an apartment the fire code MANDATES that the building have a hard-wired, WORKING fire alarm installed. According to the boss this one didn’t. This is a fire code violation that led to a death. Someone should go to jail for this, but I can tell you right now in Philly there is NO CHANCE that will happen. The fire department doesn’t enforce the fire code so we have no control over the issue. The DA will never pick up the case and the landlord will (maybe) get a fine. And so it goes.
The death toll is now 9 by my count. The official count is 8 because I am told the Gas Works employee killed in the explosion and fire two weeks ago doesn’t count. How I don’t know. I’m counting him. It’s the least I can do.