Homicide

Philadelphia officials defend response to fire that killed 4 children steps from fire station

  • Solomon Johnson walks to his fire-damaged rowhouse, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Philadelphia. Johnson lived next door to a home where four young children died in a fast-moving blaze that engulfed at least 10 residences over the weekend. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

    Solomon Johnson walks to his fire-damaged rowhouse, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Philadelphia. Johnson lived next door to a home where four young children died in a fast-moving blaze that engulfed at least 10 residences over the weekend. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)  (The Associated Press)

  • Solomon Johnson talks with a reporter on the steps of his fire-damaged rowhouse, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Philadelphia. Johnson lived next door to a rowhouse where four young children died in a fast-moving blaze that engulfed at least 10 residences over the weekend. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

    Solomon Johnson talks with a reporter on the steps of his fire-damaged rowhouse, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Philadelphia. Johnson lived next door to a rowhouse where four young children died in a fast-moving blaze that engulfed at least 10 residences over the weekend. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)  (The Associated Press)

  • Candles burn on the steps of fire-damaged home, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Philadelphia, where four young children died over the weekend in a fast-moving blaze that engulfed at least 10 residences. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

    Candles burn on the steps of fire-damaged home, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Philadelphia, where four young children died over the weekend in a fast-moving blaze that engulfed at least 10 residences. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)  (The Associated Press)

Philadelphia fire officials are defending their response time to a porch fire that killed four young children as it spread down a block of row homes.

Leaders of the local Liberian community say they can't understand how the fire spread to 10 homes when there's a fire station around the corner.

Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer says an engine truck from that station was out on a car fire, but arrived about seven minutes after the first 911 call.

Neighbors say it still took several more minutes for firefighters to get any water flowing to attack the blaze.

Some recall a 2008 fire nearby that killed seven people, including several Liberians.

The Rev. Adolphus Capehart calls the latest fire deaths "pathetic," and says he'll demand more answers from the city.