Jan 10, 2022 - News

Relatives and community members identify Fairmount fire victims

Firefighters and police work the scene of a deadly fire on Jan. 5 in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia. Photo: Ed Jones/Getty
Firefighters and police work the scene of a deadly fire on Jan. 5 in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia. Photo: Ed Jones/Getty

Philadelphia has yet to officially identify the victims of last week's fire in the Fairmount neighborhood that killed 12, but the names of some of those who perished have begun to trickle out.

The latest: Vanessa McDonald released a statement identifying three individuals who died in the fire in the three-story row house as her daughters: Rosalee McDonald, Virginia Thomas and Quinsha White.

  • She also said she lost nine grandchildren in the fire, but did not release their names.
  • Andre Wright, who coaches an after-school basketball program at Bache-Martin Elementary identified siblings Destiny McDonald, 14, and Quintien Tate-McDonald, 16, as victims in the fire.

State of play: The cause of the North Philadelphia fire on Jan. 5 has yet to be determined.

Of note: The Philadelphia Inquirer has identified nine children, ranging in age from 2-16, as victims.

  • Authorities have said eight children died in the fire.

Andrea Underwood, a spokesperson for the family, didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

What's next: The city's medical examiner will release the identities, causes of death and other information after the fire marshal completes an investigation, said Health Department spokesperson James Garrow.

  • "There is no timeline for release of information," Garrow said. "We want to make sure that things are done correctly, and depending on how the investigation goes, that could change."
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