Two victims of fire in which 12 people died in housing complex in Philadelphia remain hospitalized

First aid unit.

Photo: Andrés Correa Guatarasma / Courtesy

A minor who played with a lighter would have been the cause of the fire in an apartment complex in Philadelphia that left 12 dead, including eight children.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Wednesday fire at the Fairmount public housing complex started with a Christmas tree set on fire by a boy 5 years old or younger who was playing with a lighter.

Among the victims are two mothers and their children.

Total, eight minors and four adults died in the accident, while two other people remain hospitalized.

The information on the possible cause is contained in an arrest warrant issued this Wednesday by the authorities.

Sources told the newspaper that the minor who allegedly started the fire ran to the outside of the structure while the flames consumed the three-story building. The little boy told emergency personnel that the tree caught fire.

At the moment, forensic authorities have not officially established the causes of the deaths, while the Office of the Fire Marshal in Philadelphia continues to investigate the incident.

The Agency for Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is also participating in the investigation.

Matthew Varisco, the ATF special agent in Philadelphia, told the outlet that the Investigators have not yet made official the cause of the fire.

Firefighters arrived on the scene on North 23rd Street shortly after 6:30 a.m. after receiving multiple calls to 911. Upon arrival they found the second floor of the building engulfed in flames and the third full of smoke. It took authorities almost an hour to put out the fire.