Thirteen people are dead including seven children after a fire tore through a duplex apartment inside a Philadelphia Housing Authority building where 18 people were living  on Wednesday morning.

It was first reported by the Fairmount Neighborhood at 8.38 a.m. at 860 North 23rd Street. 26 people lived in two apartments over three floors.

18 people lived on the duplex apartments at the second and third floors, while eighteen people live on the first floor. On the second floor the fire started, then it spread upwards and tore through the roof of the building. 

13 of the 18 victims on the second floor had all died before firefighters were able to get in. Two survivors were rescued by firefighters, one was a young child. He is currently in hospital. All eight residents were safe and sound.

Chief fire chiefs are concerned that they might find more victims as they clean up the rubble. 

It is not known what caused the fire. Although there were 4 smoke detectors in the apartments, none of them sounded an alarm Wednesday. 

Philadelphia Housing Authority claims that all units were tested and found to be working in May. 

Mayor Jim Kenney choked as he spoke about the incident. It was, he said, “without any doubt one of most tragic days in city history.” 

The blaze was reported at 6.38am at 860 North 23rd Street. It started on the second floor then ripped through the third floor of the building, killing at least 13 people including seven kids

It was reported that the fire broke out at 6:38 AM at 860 North 23rd Street. At least 13 victims, including seven children, were killed when the fire broke out on the second and third floors. 

The Philadelphia fire department works at the scene of a deadly row house fire in Philadelphia on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Firefighters and police responded to the fatal fire at a three-story rowhouse in the city's Fairmount neighborhood around 6:40 a.m. and found flames coming from the second-floor windows, fire officials said

Philadelphia’s fire department responds to the tragic scene of a fire at a row house in Philadelphia, Wednesday Jan. 5, 2022. Police and firefighters responded at 6:40 AM to the tragic fire in a Fairmount rowhouse. Fire officials reported that flames were coming from second floor windows.

A Philadelphia firefighter works at the scene of a deadly row house fire, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia

Firefighter from Philadelphia works on the site of a rowhouse fire in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighbourhood, Wednesday January 5, 2022.

Bystanders watch as the Philadelphia fire department works at the scene of a deadly row house fire in Philadelphia on Wednesday

On Wednesday, Philadelphia’s fire department responded to a devastating row-house fire.

An unidentified woman reacts at the scene of a deadly row house fire, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia

Unidentified woman responds to a rowhouse fire in Fairmount, Philadelphia, Wednesday January 5, 2022

Mayor Jim Kenney choked on tears as he spoke at the scene. He called it 'without a doubt one of the most tragic days in the city's history'

As Mayor Jim Kenney spoke, he choked up as he reflected on the scenes. Mayor Jim Kenney called it “without a doubt one the most tragic days of the city’s historical history”.

The Philadelphia fire department works at the scene of a deadly row house fire in Philadelphia Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Multiple fatalities have been confirmed in the fire

Philadelphia Fire Department responds to a rowhouse fire Wednesday January 5, 2022. Numerous deaths have been reported in this fire.

The fire was at 860 North 23rd Street in Philadelphia, less than two miles north of the city center and its famous Rittenhouse Square

Fire broke out at 860 North 23rd Street Philadelphia. It was less than two miles away from Philadelphia’s famous Rittenhouse square. 

“Please pray for all of these people and their children. The loss of so many children is heartbreaking. He said, “Keep these children in your prayers.”

The fire chiefs tried to describe the tragedy of the fire while updating the public on Wednesday morning. 

“I have been working in firefighting for over 35 years and this was probably the most horrible fire I’ve seen.” I don’t have the words for how we’re feeling right now,’ Philadelphia Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy said. 

He also said more bodies could be found as firefighters work on the fire damage. 

‘That number is dynamic bc there’s still an ongoing recovery effort inside. This is 13. Also, eight individuals self-evacuated.

‘As of right now, the fire marshal along with the ATF are in the process of doing a thorough investigation of this terrible event.’  

The scene was being worked on by firefighters, as neighbors watched horrified. 

Philadelphia firefighters work at the scene of a deadly row house fire, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia

Philadelphia firefighters at the scene in a devastating row house fire on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. This happened in Fairmount neighbourhood of Philadelphia

Mayor Jim Kenney visits the scene of a fatal fire in Philadelphia, Pa. on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Firefighters and police responded to the fire at a three-story rowhouse in the city's Fairmount neighborhood around 6:40 am

On Wednesday, January 5, 2022, Mayor Jim Kenney visited the site of a deadly fire at Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood. Police and firefighters responded at 6:40 am to the Fairmount neighbourhood rowhouse fire.

Dannie McGuire (34) said, “I knew some kids. I used to watch them play on the corner.” Martin Burgert (35), stood beside her in the entranceway of a house around the corner.

“They’d lived there for 10 years,” she stated. Some of them have been here longer than us.

‘I can’t picture how more people couldn’t get out — jumping out a window,’ she said. 

This was an older rowhome, which had been transformed into two apartments. 

Kelvin A.Jeremiah CEO of Philadelphia Housing Authority said that the last inspection was in May. All smoke detectors worked.

“This tragic loss of life is a shock to all at PHA. 

“It’s too soon to tell you more. Jeremiah indicated that all of the smoke detectors had worked correctly when Jeremiah last visited.