Officials Release 9-1-1 Calls And Timeline From Fatal Gesner Str - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Officials Release 9-1-1 Calls And Timeline From Fatal Gesner Street Fire

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SOUTHWEST PHILADELPHIA-Calls for help, just seconds after a fire ripped through the 6500 block of Gesner Street in Southwest Philadelphia early Saturday morning, which took four young lives and left 10 families homeless.

In a press conference on Tuesday, investigators played those 9-1-1 calls for the first time.

In addition to 9-1-1 calls from residents, we heard crews on the scene call in for more resources.

Officials say it was a one minute response time and insist that firefighters were there when they were supposed to be.

Officials revealed the following timeline:

2:44:58 a.m., the first call to 9-1-1 was made.

2:46 a.m., verbal dispatch was made about a couch fire on a porch connected to a house.

At 2:47:03 a.m.,  a second 9-1-1 call came in stating that four houses were on fire.

At 2:49 a.m., Ladder 4 was on scene preparing for rescues and a minute later at 2:50 a.m., Pipeline 40 equipped with water was on scene after leaving a car fire several blocks away. A third call made by a fire official requested additional help.

"Pipeline 40 was on scene one minute after the ladder arrived on the scene,” said Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer.

Commissioner Sawyer also unveiled a GPS map and 9-1-1 calls three days after the deadly fire in hopes to quell concerns of a poor response time.

Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison said the firefighters did what they could as soon as they knew what they were dealing with.

"They acted appropriately and they acted heroically they just couldn't save," he said. "But to criticize this department is not fair. It's not the facts and that's what we're putting in front of you," said Deputy Mayor Gillison.

According to officials, the fire went from three houses to eight houses in just 10 minutes, so officials say there's no way it had been burning for 30 minutes as some suggested or the entire block would have burned.

The cause of the fire, including whether illegal fireworks may have played a role, is still under investigation.

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