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A fire that may have been intentionally set swept through a row-house in north Philadelphia early today, killing three women and two children, police said.

The blaze, which was brought under control in 20 minutes, was started either by a firebomb or a flammable liquid poured through the front window, radio station KYW-AM reported, quoting fire officials.

"This is suspected to be a homicide; we're treating it that way," fire spokesman Armand Gersbach told the station.

In addition to the five who were killed, three residents of the house were being treated at area hospitals.

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