Northeast Times

Tacony apartment fire claims 3rd victim

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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. ••

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You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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