PHILADELPHIA (AP) — One firefighter has died after being trapped in a building that caught fire in Philadelphia and then collapsed early Saturday, fire officials said.
The fallen firefighter was not immediately identified, but Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy said he was a 27-year department veteran.
The building had caught fire just before 2 a.m. Saturday, Murphy said. The fire had been put out, but then the building collapsed at 3:24 a.m.
Four other firefighters and an inspector with the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections had been rescued from the rubble. Murphy said they were in stable condition at hospitals.
Numerous firefighters were at the scene as the rescue effort unfolded, and some were seen hugging or wiping tears from their eyes, multiple news outlets reported.
“You can’t predict this,” Murphy told reporters at a news conference. “This was just a catastrophic accident that has really hurt our department.”
The Associated Press