The flames of the Gesner Street fire were so hot, they destroyed any evidence indicating what sparked them, the Fire Department announced today.
The Fire Marshal declared the cause of the fire "undetermined" after investigating the blaze for over a month, said Executive Fire Chief Peter Crespo.
The announcement comes just hours before the wake for the inferno's four young victims: twins Maria and Marialla Bowah, 4, Patrick Sanyesh, also 4, and 1-month-old Taj Jacque, scheduled for tonight at 8 p.m. at the Divine Mercy Parish, on Grovers Avenue near 72nd Street in Southwest Philadelphia.
A funeral ceremony will be held tomorrow at 9 a.m. at the church, followed by an interment at Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery in Springfield, Delaware County, said Michael Chea, a member of the Liberian Association of Pennsylvania.
Fire Deparment officials said the fire that killed the children broke out just before 3 a.m. on July 5. Its ignition point was narrowed down to a couch sitting on the porch of one of the row houses on the street, but it's unclear, and apparently, impossible to determine, how that couch went up in flames.