Brownouts to Blame for Boy's Fire Death?

Questions swirl as to whether closed station slowed fire response time

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010  |  Updated 12:00 AM EDT
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A young boy's death in a fire has two sides fighting over whether brownouts are to blame.

NBC Philadelphia - Lu Ann Cahn

A young boy's death in a fire has two sides fighting over whether brownouts are to blame.

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Questions are swirling as to whether a controversial fire department plan to save money had anything to do with a deadly weekend fire that claimed the life of a young boy.

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers says there's no way the so-called "brownouts" -- which temporarily closes some fire houses -- are to blame.

But city residents and the firefighter's union aren't convinced.

The fire broke out Saturday night in West Philadelphia, spreading to four homes and killing 12-year-old Frank Marasco.

"To stop and blame this on firefighters and equipment is just not fair," Ayers said Monday.

There's no word yet on what caused the fire.

The neighborhood plans to hold a vigil for the young boy on Wednesday night.

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