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Protests Erupt Outside Philadelphia Fire House After Deadly Fire

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A large crowd convened outside the firehouse that responded to the deadly blaze where four children were killed early Saturday morning.

The protest started shortly before 6:30 p.m. on Monday, outside the Ladder 4 Engine 40 firehouse at Woodland Avenue and South 65th Street.

An afternoon meeting of the Liberian Association led to some agitated residents who feel the Philadelphia Fire Department did not respond fast enough to the fire. 

Dozens of police were called in as the crowd shut down Woodland Avenue and 65th Street most of the night. The crowd even blocked a fire engine from getting to a fire call.

According to police, there were approximately 200 protesters and there were 3 arrests for disorderly conduct.

Police say there were no injuries to police or civilians. However, a female seizure victim was transported to HUP by police and is listed in stable condition.

The Philadelphia Fire Department says they responded within 3 minutes, and the fire was first reported as a rubbish fire. The department also says that one engine had been dispatched to a car fire minutes before the fatal blaze, but came right to the scene from that fire.

"They didn't do anything. A matter of fact, they gave their heart and soul," said Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer.

Mayor Nutter addressed the concerns in a press conference on Monday night, where he said there were a series of rumors and lies spreading,which were raising concern in the community. Mayor Nutter said Ladder 4 Engine 40 responded in a very timely fashion to the fire. 

The President of Local 22 said in the press conference, the firefighters and EMS that responded to the fire are taking it very hard.

As of 10:15 p.m. there was still a crowd, but it was beginning to dissipate. Police will remain on the scene throughout the night.

Stay with Fox 29 for updates on this developing story.
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