Possible casualties in fire that destroyed Philadelphia homes

Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said at least two people are believed to be under the rubble of the collapsed buildings.
5:33 | 12/20/19

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Transcript for Possible casualties in fire that destroyed Philadelphia homes
We're here this morning to provide an update. On the incident yesterday. In the 14100 block of south eighth street here NC Philadelphia. Reality is we don't have a lot of updates provide the situation. It was a very you can imagine very cold night difficult night we had companies out there through the night. Continuing to extinguish the fire. And set up four today's operations right now. We haven't started any of the excavation of the collapsed buildings. Because we're waiting on some some work to be done some plates to be put in. History history has been undermined. We don't know why that is or when it happens could very well be from the fact that we've slowed. Literally hundreds of thousands of pounds of water yesterday. So there's lot of set up work that needs to be done before we can actually start using heavy equipment to start do you there in those collapsed buildings. And going through that debris. We had eight receptions that are opening concert with the red cross and many other partners last night until 9 PM. At that point we didn't necessarily have any more. Known calls for assistance folks have been sheltered by friends or family members. We remain however available two help anybody who needs help. Particularly if this goes into another another nighter another day the Red Cross did shelter somebody. The Red Cross house which is unique asset that we have here in the city of Philadelphia. And one thing I death they wanna say is on that note. It was really as week we learn more and more about. All the things were happening beyond the incidence. We really saw the the best of Philadelphia yesterday in the in the wake of this tragic event. Where we had neighbors helping neighbors and friends helping friends bam it's helping families. And a lot of folks who actually risked their lives to. I try to rescue complete strangers and that was certainly our firefighters. On this first driving companies and there were from previous in the video there were some citizens. Who initially tried to. Extinguish the fire which you know this bag to fire that was not going to not ever gonna work but we certainly appreciate the effort where very glad that those folks. Themselves were not injured or worse in a secondary collapse because that's what happened. After our companies arrived again I've seen video clips now from. Before we arrived after we arrived and then of course when I was on the scene. And we're really. You know we're not. We're we're very disappointed in the outcome of this incident the reality is commitment back lot worse. And that's. Small consolation for us well it. Are. Overriding. Concern going forward. Is to make sure that there is no additional loss of life that we keep everybody safe so this remains a very complex and dynamic scene. As today hopefully we can get Streeter dressed move that heavy equipment and I know Pico and PG that we are continuing to work on the utilities. And now block and those are gonna sort of up and down today. As they assess the situation and we do work indeed those things to be turned on or off depending on what we're doing any given time. So I think with that. And again if anybody has not been back yet or. Stay with friends last night which are not sure that's going to continue to work. We remain available you can you can call the Red Cross that number guy is when he 1800 Red Cross. To get assistance and are dedicated customers who management staff is also. Both at the scene we have couple folks at the scene saw firefighters fire marshals at the scene. And all of our investigation partners I should say as well the we haven't proceeded very far the investigation either obviously the first thing we're gonna do. Is try to to understand. Who was still in the remnants of those collapse buildings and that's job number one after ensuring the safety of the entire scene. The investigation will be again not just us but. There are some federal agencies there involve state agencies are involved. So again that's going to be most likely be also. An effort that's gonna take. And again to clarified Dave they were unable to. A rescue the one person we know for sure. And debris those classrooms. Though we made a second attempt. Later in the incident once we had enough of the fires that we have the gas turned off for mostly turned off. At extinguishing fires acts should be able to get in there but. Again. You know trapped under a couple floors. Of rubble its that's going to be charging other circumstance so. Extremely dangerous and remains dangerous and we can't. There's no way to truly no. Whether when and whether a building is going to collapse are components of voters collapse. Our department of licenses and inspections is down there with their inspectors. My sense is that it will continue to get some structural engineering expertise down theirs this moves forward. But the only way were really going to be able to ensure that the buildings on either side of this site. Are safe is to start this assembling those as well so the walls of the abilities are there it's if we're not sure we're gonna have to take those buildings down but that some possible does but those are all the kinds of things we're trying to assess now. With daylight and now that the fires actually. Policing.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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