Man Dies After Fire Breaks Out at Center City High-Rise

By David Chang
|  Thursday, Jan 16, 2014  |  Updated 5:19 AM EDT
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Fire claims the life of a man inside an apartment building at 13th and Walnut Streets in Center City.  Residents say the fire highlighted a serious problem with the building.  NBC10's Nefertiti Jaquez reports.

NBC10.com - Nefertiti Jaquez

Fire claims the life of a man inside an apartment building at 13th and Walnut Streets in Center City. Residents say the fire highlighted a serious problem with the building. NBC10's Nefertiti Jaquez reports.

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A man died from his injuries after a fire broke out at a Center City high-rise.

Investigators say the fire started on the tenth floor of the Walnut Square apartment complex on 201 S 13th Street on Wednesday around 4 p.m. The fire was inside unit 1004 but did not spread or damage other units, according to officials.

All of the residents were evacuated from the 12-story building, which contains 132 units. Firefighters were quickly able to bring the fire under control. The evacuated residents were allowed back in Wednesday night.

A man in his 60s was injured in the fire, according to NBC10 sources. He was taken to Jefferson Hospital where he later died from his injuries. According to sources, he died from smoke inhalation and a heart attack.

Officials have not yet revealed his identity.

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Several of the residents say they didn't take the alarm seriously at first because a false alarm normally goes off in the building every few weeks.

"I was sleeping because I work nights," said DJ Devine, one of the residents. "So I woke up, heard the alarm and kind of ignored it because it goes off all the time. It usually goes off then nothing comes of it."

Another resident, Ryan Kelly, says that the false alarms are so frequent that he and other residents normally ignore them.

"Then today a real fire actually happens and someone dies," Kelly said. "It's sad."

Sources working with the investigation tell NBC10 there have been eight other fire alarms at the building since August 1 but all of them turned out to be false alarms.

Kelly says he and other residents have complained to the building's property manager for months but nothing has been done.

"We never get a clear answer from them," Kelly said. "It's kind of like, it's an error or we're dealing with it."

NBC10 called the property manager and company that owns the building. We have not yet heard back from them.

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