Frankford house fire ruled an arson

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PHOTO: Melissa Mitman

A fire that left a man dead earlier this week in Frankford has been ruled an arson, authorities said Wednesday.

Firefighters arrived at the scene of a house fire on the 4700 block of Oakland Street just after 3:30 a.m. Tuesday after someone called 911 to report people trapped inside.

After the blaze was extinguished, Michael Zappile, 52, who lived at the house, was found dead on the first floor, police said

The fire marshal’s office ruled it an arson, and homicide detectives are investigating Zappile’s death. Authorities have not provided a motive in the case.

In other news, a 30-year-old man was in critical condition after being shot in the back of the head just before 4 p.m. Wednesday on the 1600 block of N. 19th Street in North Philadelphia, authorities said.

Also in North Philadelphia, a man and a woman were hospitalized Wednesday following a stabbing inside a boarding house.

The altercation occurred just after 9:30 a.m. on the 1400 block of W. Allegheny Avenue, police said.

Authorities said the woman, described as in her early 40s, was stabbed nine times in the area between her shoulders and hips. The man, 66, had about 16 stab wounds in his head and upper body.

Both were taken to Temple University Hospital. She is in critical condition, and the man, who is being held as a suspect, is in stable condition. Investigators recovered a weapon at the scene.

Police arrested a woman after a stabbing Tuesday night inside a room at the Four Seasons Hotel at 19th and Arch streets in Center City.

A 40-year-old man was stabbed once in the left leg just after 10:30 p.m. His injuries are not expected to be life-threatening.

Authorities did not release further information about the suspect.

In Kensington, a 23-year-old man was shot twice at around 6 p.m. Tuesday in front of a laundromat on the 400 block of E. Allegheny Avenue, police said.

Officers took him to Temple Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.

Earlier in the day, just after 2:30 p.m., a 17-year-old boy was shot in the buttocks on the 5500 block of W. Girard Avenue in West Philadelphia, authorities said. His injuries are not expected to be life-threatening.

Gunman sought in New Year’s killing

Police released images of the suspect in a Jan. 1 fatal shooting in Elmwood.

Investigators released camera footage Wednesday as part of an effort to catch a man wanted in connection with a New Year’s Day homicide in Southwest Philadelphia.

The victim, a 27-year-old man, was at a gathering at 2560 S. 66th Street in the Elmwood neighborhood at around 4:15 a.m. Jan. 1 when he was shot multiple times, according to police.

Authorities obtained video of the suspect prior to the shooting. He is believed to have fled in a dark-colored Chevrolet sedan.

He is described as a Black man in his mid-to-late 20s who is around 6 feet tall with a thin build. Police said he “heavily tattooed” on his face, neck and right hand.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the homicide unit at 215-686-3334/3335; call or text 215-686-8477; or submit an anonymous tip at

The city offers a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in every murder case.