‘Herculean Efforts' Can't Save Elderly WWII Veteran From Burning Philadelphia Home

Despite "Herculean efforts," Philadelphia firefighters couldn’t save a disabled WWII veteran found dead after fire tore through the elderly man's South Philadelphia home early Thursday morning.

The blaze broke out around 2 a.m. in a row home in the middle of S Taylor Street between Morris and Moore streets.

Firefighters put forth a "Herculean effort" to save the man but it wasn’t enough, said Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel. [[382333511, C]]

It wasn’t clear if the man – found on the first floor – died from the fire or from something else. If he is declared to have died from the fire, the man would be the city’s 13th fire death this year.

Neighbors told NBC10 that the victim was 92-year-old WWII veteran Benjamin "BB" Boone who only had one leg and used a wheelchair. Firefighters didn't immediately identify the victim. [[382333441, C]]

Boone had lived on the block for decades, said neighbors. He lived with his daughter until her recent death.

The fire caused firefighters to evacuate people from neighboring homes as crews investigated the blaze.

It wasn’t clear if the home had working smoke alarms.

“Every fire is a tragedy, we want to remind everyone about the importance of fire alarms and being safe around fire, fire is everyone's fight,” said Thiel.

The cause of the blaze remained under investigation Thursday morning. Some of the rubble taken from the home included Boone's wheelchair.

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