Two men died early yesterday in a house fire in the Bustleton section of Philadelphia that officials blamed on smoking.
Both men, one found on the first floor and the other on the second, were pronounced dead at the scene. A firefighter was taken to Jeanes Hospital, where he was treated for a minor cut to the hand and released.
The victims' names were not released, but an official said one man was in his late 50s and the other in his early 30s. A neighbor said the two were father and son. A spokesman from the Medical Examiner's Office said the cause of death was smoke inhalation and burns.
Battalion Chief Willie Williams said the fire started in the basement of the two-story twin house in the 9200 block of Jamison Avenue shortly after 5 a.m. During an initial search of the home, firefighters found one of the men inside. The second victim was discovered after the fire was contained.
Williams said the house had a smoke detector with no batteries.
"Any time someone loses their life, it's a tragedy," Williams said. "The Fire Department encourages people to check the batteries in their smoke detectors once a week and have one on every floor in the house and practice fire drills."