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Christmas Tree Behind Fire That Killed 12, Officials Confirm

Officials pass flowers and other items left in memory of victims of Wednesday's fatal fire in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022.  Officials say it's the city's deadliest single fire in at least a century.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Officials pass flowers and other items left in memory of victims of Wednesday's fatal fire in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. Officials say it's the city's deadliest single fire in at least a century. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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Philadelphia (AP) -- A Christmas tree fire caused the blaze that killed 12 relatives in a Philadelphia rowhome duplex, investigators confirmed Tuesday as they identified victims and announced preliminary findings, but stopped short of officially saying a 5-year-old boy playing with a lighter was behind it.

Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel hesitated to point blame at a news conference Tuesday but said the boy was the only person on that floor. The boy, who survived the fire, told several people he was playing with the lighter when the tree caught fire, according to a search warrant issued last week.