4 Firefighters, Civilian Injured When Fire Truck Crashes Into North Philadelphia Building

Alexandria Hoff reports.

Video Transcript

UKEE WASHINGTON: It's 5:30, and we are continuing to follow breaking news. A fire truck crashes into a building in North Philadelphia.

JESSICA KARTALIJA: And we know that several people have been rushed to the hospital. Alexandria Hoff and photojournalist Matt Mariano rushed to the scene. Alex, what's the very latest?

ALEXANDRIA HOFF: All right, so what we know right now, Jessica and Ukee, is that five people total were injured, four of those members of the Philadelphia Fire Department, and one civilian. We were told that all four members of the fire department were awake and talking. Two of them did need help getting out of this vehicle after this very, very dramatic crash.

Matt, let's zoom in on this building and see what's going on behind me. And this vehicle, this fire engine, a heavy piece of machinery, went clear through this apartment building here. This happened after 4:00 PM when this fire engine was heading to a call at Front and Diamond. An accident occurred at 7th and Girard. Exactly how, we don't know, but it sent the truck, again, clear through the building.

Let's take a look from Chopper 3, because overhead, this scene, it really shows how dramatic all of this is. The truck, meanwhile, belonged to Engine 29, which is just located three blocks east. They share that building with the Heavy Rescue Unit, so help was able to arrive very very quickly.

So let's also talk about the building for a moment. Eyewitness News learned that it is mostly residential with 12 units, but it is for sale. So only one family was on the property at the time. They were in the back and were uninjured.

The integrity of the building may have been compromised, though, officials tell us, so that fire truck will have to stay put for now. L&I is on its way to evaluate. Let's listen in right now to what fire officials told us just about 20 minutes ago.

CHARLES WALKER: Engine 29, responding on a call on Front and Diamond. And when he got to this intersection here, they encountered an accident. We had four members [INAUDIBLE] who were injured. They were all transported to a hospital. We did extricate two members from the truck. They were talking to us.

And we had one civilian injured in the civilian vehicle, and helped that person out of the car. The airbags pretty much deployed and doesn't look like any severe injuries.

All the individuals are being evaluated at local hospitals, and we're still in the early stages of our investigation at this point, trying to determine what took place and what happened.

We're concerned about the building, in regards to the structural integrity. L&I is here on location, along with the utility companies, just to make sure that we have no gas leaks or anything of that nature. So that's pretty much where we are at this point.

ALEXANDRIA HOFF: So once again, we want to reiterate that four firefighters, one civilian injured in this very dramatic crash this afternoon. Took place around 4:00 PM. We are told none of those injuries are believed to be life-threatening. The four firefighters were awake and talking. The only reason we are told that they had to get assistance in getting out of that vehicle was perhaps they were kind of pinned inside. The doors couldn't open, so they needed help with that.

Now, this area completely blocked off. 7th and Girard, if you're driving right now, you're going to want to avoid this area completely, as police and firefighters continue their inspection of this building to see if it's safe to even remove this fire engine at this point.

We're reporting live right now. Ukee, Jessica, I'll send it back to you.

UKEE WASHINGTON: OK, Alex. Thank you so much. And that's not too far off of I-95, either, so you know traffic is really jammed up in that area, that's for sure. And we will continue to follow this story hear on television, and you can always get updates anytime at cbsphilly.com.