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Row Home Fire Damages Five Houses, Forces 18 Out Of Homes

By Jan Carabeo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) --- A large fire in North Philadelphia damaged five houses and forced 18 people out of their homes.

Two men were taken to Temple Hospital with minor injuries after firefighters rescued them from their burning homes. 18 people in total were displaced by the fire - 12 adults and 6 children. All are being assisted by the Red Cross.

The Philadelphia Fire Department was called to 3816 Park Ave around 11:30 Tuesday night, arriving to find heavy fire coming from the first and second floors of a home. The fire spread quickly, damaging four other houses.

An hour later, the fire was placed under control by a crew that included 60 firefighters. No firefighters were injured.

Some of the residents of nearby row homes were woken up by a good Samaritan named Matthew Flores, who went door-to-door, knocking and telling people about the fire.

"My first thought was just to go help those kids," he said. "Help the people get out of the house, you know. I just did what anybody else would do."

Deputy Fire Commissioner Richard Davison said construction issues led to the rapid spread of the fire.

"Because of the porch construction, the fire extended to the right of the fire dwelling, involving four other homes," he said.

The two men who were taken to the hospital have since been released. They're expected to recover fully.

Fire marshals are working to determine the cause of the fire.

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