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

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A massive emergency response after a crash sends a Philadelphia fire truck through a building in North Philadelphia. Four firefighters and one civilian were injured in the crash.

All four firefighters are now out of the hospital.

It all happened at the intersection of 7th Street and Girard Avenue in North Philly around 4 p.m. It took crews hours but they were able to carefully remove the truck from the building.

A call to aid became a dramatic call for it at 7th and Girard.

"I looked to my right and saw the firetruck inside of the building," witness Shannon Robinson said.

Inside and nearly clear through it.

Around 4 p.m., fire officials say  Engine 29 was lit up in lights and sirens en route to a call at Front and Dauphin and Streets.

"When they got to this intersection here they encountered an accident," Philadelphia Fire Assistant Chief Charles Walker said.

That accident involved at least one other vehicle and sent tens of thousands of pounds worth of fire truck barreling through the commercial space below an apartment building.

"It's 12 apartments over one retail suit. It's listed for $1.95 million," Scope Commerical Real Estate Associate Broker Saam Tashayyod said.

Tashayyod is the associate broker for the property, which was empty aside from one apartment.

"There is one family at the rear. I saw them sitting outside, they are OK," Tashayyod said.

Four firefighters were injured in the crash. Two had to be freed from the engine. All, including the driver of a separate car, were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

"You don't focus on the who, you just focus on the what you have to do and you get it done," Walker said.

Engine 29 is located just three blocks east of the crash site. It shares that building with the city's highly trained heavy rescue unit.

"They were able to get here pretty quick and that's exactly what they do, it's extrication, so we had the advantage of that on our side," Walker said.

The focus then became the building's structural integrity. Engineers worked on scene for three-and-a-half hours and installed support beams before the truck was partially towed out.

While the exact nature of the accident that preceded the crash hasn't been determined, emergency officials reiterated that all drivers must yield to lights and sirens.

"The amount of cars that do not move out of the way or yield to the right of way for emergency vehicles is amazing," Walker said.

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