A child may have caused the fire in the Philadelphia building that left twelve dead.

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source: www.independent.co.uk

A child may have caused the fire in the Philadelphia building that left twelve dead.

Investigators suspect the boy started the flames when he played with a lighter next to a Christmas tree.

The Philadelphia building fire in which eight children and four adults died on Wednesday could have been caused by one of the child victims playing with a lighter next to a Christmas tree, according to investigators trying to find out the causes of the tragedy.

Sources of the investigation revealed to The Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper on Thursday that they suspect that the fire could be caused by one of the children who lived in the building and played with a lighter next to a Christmas tree.

The theory was later confirmed to NBC News by the Philadelphia District Attorney's office. However, a spokesperson noted that the investigation, which is being conducted by the Philadelphia Fire Department and the Agency for Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF, in English), has only just begun.

One of the investigation points is to determine why the smoke detectors installed in the building did not alert the tenants of the flames.

Firefighters said the building had four battery-operated smoke detectors, but none were working. The last time the building was inspected was in 2020.

The building is owned by the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA). This municipal organization provides social homes to low-income people. The PHA website notes that it is the fourth-largest public housing agency in the United States, with 76,000 tenants.

The death of 12 people in the fire, which was divided into two houses in which at least 26 people resided, has caused a commotion by the magnitude of the tragedy.

The fire, one of the deadliest in recent decades in the country, started in the early hours of Wednesday. Eight people resided in the first house, which occupied the first floor and the second. In contrast, the second house, between the second and third floors, housed another 18.

The building is owned by the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA). This municipal organization provides social homes to low-income people. The PHA website notes that it is the fourth-largest public housing agency in the United States, with 76,000 tenants.