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NEWS
July 16, 2014 | By Helen Ubinas, Daily News Columnist
WHERE WERE the parents? The July 5 fire on Gesner Street was barely out before the question was hurled at the parents of two of the children who perished in the fire. The question was asked mostly by readers, but then by Mayor Nutter's public-safety director, Michael Resnick, during a protest at City Hall led by Patrick Sanyeah, the father of one of the boys who died in the fire. "Where were you ?" Resnick asked. That was insensitive and dumb. Especially since the children were in the care of an adult, a 41-year-old mother who was injured trying to save the children, including her twins, who also died in the fire.
NEWS
July 16, 2014 | BY MORGAN ZALOT, Daily News Staff Writer zalotm@phillynews.com, 215-854-5928
EMSHEREE Patterson can still smell the smoke. Even though it's been two months and she's moved into a new apartment since a house fire destroyed just about everything she and her 5-year-old daughter owned, she's still reliving the nightmare - and facing the repercussions that come in the days, weeks and months after the flames are put out. "I still smell fire when I come in here, but I don't know if it's just me," Patterson, 26, said yesterday as...
NEWS
July 11, 2014 | BY SEAN COLLINS WALSH & DYLAN SEGELBAUM, Daily News Staff Writers walshSE@phillynews.com, 215-854-4172
MORE THAN two dozen protesters, angry about the weekend fire that killed four children, marched about 5 miles to City Hall from their Liberian-immigrant neighborhood in Southwest Philadelphia yesterday, chanting, "We want answers!" and "We want Nutter!" When they got there, they were surrounded by about 30 police officers, and alternated between chanting and sitting on the pavement until about 7:45 p.m. They vowed to return in the morning. Meanwhile, Mayor Nutter, after returning from a trip to Washington, D.C., slipped in and out of City Hall through an entrance that he doesn't normally use. The protesters, who had started the more-than-90-minute march about 1:30 p.m. on Gesner Street near 65th, questioned the city's response to the fire early Saturday that broke out on the block.
NEWS
July 11, 2014
I CANNOT understand why they're so quick to blame the firemen since the fire started by kids who threw firecrackers on a couch on the porch, starting a fire that destroyed eight homes and four young lives in Southwest Philly. My question is: Where are the parents who were supposed to be watching the kids, and who gave them a firework to play with, with no supervision? Don't blame the firemen, blame the parents. Robert F. Schaffer Philadelphia   OK, your community suffered a tremendous loss, so I'm baffled by your response - blocking a firehouse and saying that response was slow.
NEWS
July 11, 2014 | By Jason Grant, Troy Graham, and Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writers
Four days after a Southwest Philadelphia blaze killed four children, prompting angry questions about the adequacy of the Fire Department's response, a city safety official had a question for Patrick Sanyeah, father of two of the children who died. Where was he when the fire erupted at 2:45 a.m. Saturday, when only one adult was at home? Public Safety Director Michael Resnick posed that question to reporters covering a protest Sanyeah led Wednesday afternoon outside City Hall.
NEWS
July 9, 2014 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
Patrick Sanyeah was in the thick of the angry protest for much of the afternoon. But unlike most others, his loss was deeply personal and devastating. Two of the victims in Saturday's fatal fire in Southwest Philadelphia were his children, Patrick, 4, and Taj Jacque, who was less than two months old. "The fire department right here, you let four kids burn into ashes," Patrick Sanyeah said during Monday's protest, wiping away tears as he chanted with the crowd. City officials defended the fire department's response -- in a community meeting, on the street ravaged by Saturday's fire and, at day's end, in a news conference that drew Mayor Nutter, the fire commissioner, and others.
NEWS
July 7, 2014 | BY DAVID GAMBACORTA, Daily News Staff Writer gambacd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5994
FIRE COMMISSIONER Derrick Sawyer has fired back at the firefighters union in the yearslong battle over appropriate staffing levels. The Daily News earlier this week reported that the city ran out of available medic units multiple times on the same day. The department had acknowledged that a large influx of calls left the city without any available ambulances for 11 minutes beginning about 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The problem arose again about 5:30 p.m. that same day, when numerous ambulances had to respond to a horrific food-truck explosion in Feltonville that left 13 people injured, including five critically.
NEWS
July 3, 2014 | BY DAVID GAMBACORTA & WILLIAM BENDER, Daily News Staff Writers gambacd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5994
TUESDAY afternoon would've been a bad time to suffer a heart attack or other medical emergency in Philadelphia. The city didn't have any ambulances available. Zero. Peter Crespo, the Fire Department's executive chief, confirmed yesterday that about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, the city's ambulance corps was completely tapped out for about 11 minutes. "It was just with the temperature, and a large influx of calls that came in," Crespo said. "For some reason, around that time frame there was just a large spike.
NEWS
June 6, 2014 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mayor Nutter has chosen a 29-year veteran of the Fire Department to succeed Commissioner Lloyd Ayers, who will retire next week. Derrick Sawyer, deputy fire commissioner for operations, will take the lead in the 2,300-member department on June 14, Nutter announced Wednesday. Nutter also announced promotions Wednesday that amounted to a new look for the department's top brass - possibly its most diverse look ever, the mayor noted. It includes the first female deputy commissioner and the first Latino executive chief.
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