A third person has died as a result of a Jan. 10 fire in a Tacony storefront apartment.
A spokesman for the Philadelphia medical examiner’s office identified her as Gloria Searle, 45. Fire paramedics transported her from the scene of the early morning blaze to Aria Health-Torresdale, where she perished on Jan. 11.
Krystal Barreto, 19, and Anthony Ramos, 13, each were pronounced dead at the scene of the fire. Relatives reportedly identified them to news reporters as Searle’s daughter and son.
Firefighters were alerted to the blaze at 6812 Torresdale Ave. at 4:44 a.m. Upon arrival, they saw heavy smoke conditions on the first and second floors of the two-story brick building. A hair salon was on the first floor and an apartment on the second floor.
The blaze was declared under control at 5:37 a.m. The fire department has not announced the cause and specific point of origin of the fire. The medical examiner was awaiting the fire marshal’s report before disclosing their causes of death, according to the spokesman, Jeff Moran.
Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers told the news media at the scene that witnesses initially reported to firefighters that the building was unoccupied. Minutes later, however, firefighters learned that people were, in fact, inside the building and launched a search.
The first arriving engine company was Engine 52, based at 4501 Van Kirk St., about 12 blocks from the scene. The inactive Engine 38 was based just four blocks away, at 4960 Longshore Ave., until 2010, when the firehouse was demolished to make room for a new Interstate 95 ramp.
Construction on a new Engine 38 firehouse at Magee Avenue and Keystone Street began last June and is expected to continue though next December. In the interim, the fire department has placed the engine company on a perpetual “brown out” status. ••EndFragment