The house, which officials said has at least four separate units, did not have any working smoke detectors, Gilliam said.
The fire was reported by more than a dozen callers about 3:30 p.m., but by the time firefighters arrived on the scene four minutes later, the right side of the house was spewing flames. The woman who lives on the first floor of the house was able to escape on her own.
“She was out in the front just watching her entire house burn down,” said Hanah Jones, who lives diagonally across from the house, on Holly Street. “It happened real quick.”
When the rescuers arrived on the third-floor, the two women who lived there were already dead, Gilliam said. Their identities were not yet known Thursday evening, he said. Neighbors said the women had moved in about two years ago.
The Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania was assisting three of the tenants who were displaced by the fire, providing food, clothing, and shelter.
Contact Claudia Vargas at 856-779-3917 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Twitter @InqCVargas. Read her blog, “Camden Flow,” on Philly.com.