Philadelphia Firefighter, Eight Others Injured in 4-Alarmer

PHILADELPHIA-- Nine people were injured, including one firefighter, and hundreds were evacuated after a 4-alarm high-rise apartment fire in Philadelphia Thursday morning.

Officials said the blaze began on the 14th floor of the Riverpark House Apartments and Condos on the 3600 block of Conshohocken Avenue in Wynnefield Heights around 3 a.m.

Smoke and flames quickly spread to the 15th and 16th floors of the 22 floor building. Many residents reported seeing smoke while evacuating the building.

At least 300 residents were evacuated from the building, some of whom were elderly and required assistance from firefighters at the scene.

"We had firefighters that had to assist many of our civilians out of their condominiums, into the stair and out of harms way," said Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers.

Officials said the fire was brought under control in a little over an hour.

Eight civilians and one firefighter were transported from the scene by paramedics. Officials said the firefighter is in guarded condition with smoke inhalation.

One victim is said to be in critical condition, while the rest remain in guarded condition. The extent of their injuries is unknown.

Displaced residents were taken to the community room in the basement of the building and to an area church. A majority have been let back into their homes.

Several units of the building suffered smoke and water damage. Ayers said at least one apartment was completely destroyed in the blaze.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. The Fire Marshal is on the scene aiding in the investigation.

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Republished with permission of KYW-TV.