Firefighters Extinguish Burning Body Under Schuylkill Expressway Overpass That Serves as Homeless Camp

People driving by a busy Philadelphia intersection that leads to the Schuylkill Expressway called 911 early Thursday to report a fire. When firefighters arrived to put out the flames, they made a grisly discovery, a body.

The body, it wasn’t immediately clear if it was a man or a woman, was discovered on a mattress under an overpass where W Passyunk Avenue meets Interstate 76 that Philadelphia Police describe as a makeshift homeless camp around 2:30 a.m., said Philadelphia Police.

"We don't know if this body was intentionally set on fire or if it was possibly a homeless person who accidentally caught fire while trying to keep warm," said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small.

No one else was in the immediate area when firefighters arrived and there were no outward signs of trauma to the body.

"Any time you find a body fully engulfed in flames... that is unusual," said Small.

The medical examiner was called in to determine how the person died and if any foul play is suspected.

Traffic continued to get by on the ramps as police and firefighters investigated early Thursday.

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