Retired Judge Dies in South Philly Fire

An 86-year-old retired judge dies in a South Philadelphia house fire.

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Police on the scene say the body of Anthony Defino was pulled from the home at 20th and Porter Streets. Fire crews responded to the home around 7:00 p.m. and battled the flames for about 30 minutes.

Sources tell NBC10 the fire started in the basement of the home and quickly spread. The judge and his wife both ran for the front door, but she was the only one to make it out alive.

"She's with a neighbor, staying with a neighbor. Of course, she's very distraught," said Battalion Chief Michael Richey.

According to the, Defino spent 19 years as a judge for the Court of Common Pleas before retiring in 2007.

Defino has three children-- two are judges and the third is an attorney.

District Attorney Seth Williams says Defino was a close personal friend. He arrived in the neighborhood Sunday night to pay his respects to the family.

The Fire Marshal's Office is investigating what started this fire. Stay with for updates in this developing story.


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