4 presumed dead in Philadelphia-area nursing home fire

By Allen Cone  |  Nov. 21, 2017 at 12:21 PM
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Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Four residents of a senior living community in the Philadelphia area remain missing and are presumed dead after a fire last week, officials said.

A husband and wife, ages 89 and 92, an 85-year-old woman and a 93-year-old woman remain unaccounted for at the Barclays Friends Senior Living Community in West Chester, Pa., officials said Monday at a news conference.

The four were among 152 people in the building -- 137 residents and 15 staff members -- when the fire erupted Thursday.

About 400 emergency personnel responded to the five-alarm blaze, West Chester Police Chief Scott Bohn said. Twenty-seven residents were injured, and eight remained in the hospital for observation Monday.

First responders used beds and wheelchairs to evacuate the residents.

"We would've expected to lose 40 to 50 people in a fire like this," District Attorney Tom Hogan said. "It is only the heroic actions of the first responders [that] prevented it."

Fire crews continue to search for the missing residents, and the cause of the fire.

Hogan said personnel "are sifting through the wreckage and the rubble of that building, looking for those people. We are not expecting good news."

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