Olney Fire Kills 2 Kids

Deadly blaze injures 7 family members

A fire in the Olney section of Philadelphia claimed the lives of two young boys and injured seven of their family members Tuesday, fire officials say.

The blaze broke out just before noon on the 100 block of Sparks Street. It took about 45 minutes to get the fire under control but it was too late for the two boys under the age of 12.

The injured include four other children under 12 years old -- one of whom is an infant -- two adult males under 30 and an adult woman under 30. Their conditions ranged from stable to critical, according to fire officials.

Two families who were related to one another lived in the row home, said Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers.

Apparently the house was filled with people including the six young children in part because of inclement weather. Philadelphia schools were closed Tuesday after 6 inches of snow fell overnight.

"You just have to pray for the rest of the family because some of them are in bad shape," the boys' after school counselor said.

The cause of the deadly blaze was under investigation but it appeared that there were many extension cords and space heaters being used in the home.

There was no battery in the only smoke detector in the house, Ayers said.

The house was gutted by the flames. Two adjacent homes were also damaged, according to authorities.

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