Emotions ran to a fever pitch yesterday July 7 2014 late afternoon as a few hundred people decided it would be a good idea to protest outside of Engine Company 40 and Ladder 4 near 65th and Woodland Ave. Area residents blamed the Philadelphia Fire Department for a slow response and not doing enough to save the lives of four children who perished in a house fire over the July 4th holiday weekend.
So armed with only facts and innuendo, these people took to the streets, some carrying sings and chanting negative slogans about the PFD. They stood in front of the firehouse. When the ladder attempted to respond to an emergency, using lights and sirens, the crowd stood in front of the firetruck and would not let it out of the station. Police who were nearby got officers from across the city who then used force to disperse the crowd.
Some protesters were hit with sticks,others were seen being carried away in handcuffs. Officially, Philadelphia Police Public Affairs Officers would confirm only one arrest. That was for disorderly conduct. With cries across social media calling or these people to face felony charges, something does not seem right.
In the twisted logic of the protesters, they claim the fire department was late to put out the fire. in reality, a call was received in the dispatch center for trash on fire on a porch. That kind of response necessitates one engine. That one engine was there in three minutes after it was dispatched. Upon arrival, fire crews were greeted with four houses involved in fire.They quickly called for more units. Those units also got there within a few minutes and got right to work.
Instead of waiting to direct their anger towards the cause which has not been determined, they chose to halt emergency services to their neighborhood by blocking a responding firetruck. Residents are adamant that firecrackers thrown onto the porch were the cause of the fire. The Fire Department has yet to release the cause.