Frank Powell, retired police lieutenant: Late April of ’85, we got word that the city wanted them out, to come up with a plan. I was the head of the bomb squad back then. So we got together — the bomb squad, the firearms training unit and the tactical division. The plan was to go to the homes adjacent to the house — remember, this was a rowhouse — and blow small holes in the wall using a charge and inject tear gas.
Ed Rendell: I guess maybe 10 days before the fire, I went out there and talked to one or two members over the fence. I said, “Look, guys, you can’t go on like this. No good can come of this. Why don’t you just surrender?” They were very respectful, but they basically said no. And I didn’t have any further contact.
Frank Powell: MOVE had built a bunker on the roof of the house, and it was clearly a problem. It covered any operations on Osage. Police Commissioner Sambor asked me if I could get up on the roof and put a charge on the bunker. But I couldn’t. I’d be exposed to shooters in the bunker.
Bob Brady, current Congressman and then-deputy mayor for labor: I was in Goode’s office. There were a lot of people there. Richmond. Sambor. All these military men giving advice. I thought it would be a good idea if we got a boom crane to knock that bunker off. But somebody above my pay scale decided against it.
Ed Rendell: The police came to me in Goode’s office and showed me aerial photographs. There were weapons and big cans of oil on the roof. I authorized arrest and search warrants.
Wilson Goode, in testimony before the MOVE Commission, October 15, 1985: I directed [police commissioner Gregore Sambor] to be in charge of [a] … plan that would enable us to make arrests of such MOVE members as the D.A. was able to provide warrants for … the protection of police officers and firefighters and occupants of the house was paramount. … We did not want persons involved who may have a hot temper, who may emotionally have been attached to 1978. … What I said to him was … “I’m the mayor, and I must rely upon you to go and do a proper kind of plan.”