Community Continues To Grapple Over Deadly Southwest Philadelphi - KMSP-TV

Community Continues To Grapple Over Deadly Southwest Philadelphia Fire

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SOUTHWEST PHILADELPHIA-Police say they are investigating a series of threats against Philadelphia Firefighters.

The threats are coming from people upset over the response time to a house fire that killed four young children this weekend.

However, the Philadelphia Fire Department says it was on scene on the 6500 block of Gesner Street in Southwest Philadelphia within minutes.

Fox 29’s Dave Schratwieser talked with neighbors who continue to grapple with what's happened.

The mother of 4-year-old twin girls Maria and Mariallah Boawah walked slowly up Gesner Street on Monday to where her daughters lost their lives early Saturday morning. She was sobbing heavily as she approached the scene of the 3-alarm fire.

William Jacque also returned to the scene on Gesner. He lost two grandchildren in the fatal fire, 4-year- old Patrick Sanyeha and 1-month-old Taj William Jacque.

“I heard a call from my wife, said my two grandkids are dead,” said William. “A 4-year-old boy, I play with him a lot. That's the one I really, really grieve for.

While the families of the victims wept, Ahmed Sheriff was thanking God for sparing his family. He came home from work around midnight Friday. Then, 2 hours later, the middle half of his block went up in flames. He scrambled to get his four children out alive.

“I heard screaming sounds all over the place saying fire, fire, fire,” said Ahmed.

On Monday, the American Red Cross offered help and firefighters passed out new smoke detectors on the block while the city fire marshal continued to investigate. The blaze spread through 8 homes. Investigators are now trying to determine if fireworks may have ignited a couch on the front porch of the home where the children died.

The fire department now says it responded in a minute and forty six seconds. This was first reported as a rubbish fire. One engine had also been dispatched to a car fire minutes before the fatal blaze, but came right to the scene from that fire.

"They didn't do anything. A matter of fact, they gave their heart and soul," said Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer.

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