Investigation Continues Into Fatal Fire

The community in Southwest Philadelphia is mourning the deaths of four children early Saturday in a fire that destroyed eight homes. Four-year-old twins Maria and Marialla Bowah died, along with four-year-old Patrick Sanyeah and his 1-month-old brother, Taj Ja-Quee.

NBC 10 reports:

Witnesses tell NBC10 they heard firecrackers go off around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday. They then noticed a yellow glow that quickly turned into a full-fledged fire, engulfing a couch on the porch of 6516 Gesner St.

One witness, Jeff Boone, says he called 911 and ran screaming down the street to wake up his neighbors. He was making his way to the firehouse just around the corner when he heard cries for help from young children trapped inside 6518 Gesner St.

“I heard them in there screaming,” Boone said. “The flames were so high and intense that I couldn’t go over there.”

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Fire Hits South Jersey’s Crystal Lake Diner

Last night fire ripped through Crystal Lake Diner in Westmont, New Jersey. By morning, Twitter photos showed that much of the interior was destroyed.

Philly.com reports that the fire took more than two hours to bring under control.

Fire rips through landmark S.J. diner [Philly.com]

Fire Closes Varga Bar

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UPDATE:

Just hours after hosting hundreds during its annual Philly Beer Week block party, Varga Bar was struck by fire. In a tweet early this morning, the bar announced it would be closed until further notice and do its best to reopen as soon as possible.

The fire apparently started in the basement and no damage was visible in the bar area.

This morning, a bright orange placard declared there had been an electrical fire and an electrician and fire alarm company would be required. The alarms could still be heard chirping inside the bar, dirty glasses stacked high when the bar had been forced to close.

The fire comes at a terrible time for the Washington Square West bar, as the beer bar had another 23 events scheduled for Philly Beer Week.

UPDATE: Sunday’s Lefthand event, originally scheduled for Varga Bar will be held up the block at Valanni at 10 p.m. All of Monday’s Beer Week events for Varga Bar have been cancelled. Michael Klein reports Varga Bar “hopes to reopen in a few days.”

Varga Bar [Foobooz]

VIDEO: Fire Fighters Battle Suit Corner Blaze


Walking up 3rd Street in Old City, it looks like a bomb went off.

market-3rd

A two-alarm fire ravaged the Suit Corner on Wednesday morning, leaving the colorful Old City shirt store a charred husk. Firefighters got the blaze, which was reported around 9:15 a.m., under control at 10:37, though they were still finding hot spots. Portions of the Suit Corner buildings were still burning well after 11, but the blaze was not in danger of spreading.

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Suit Corner Fire Is Under Control (Updated)



UPDATE [10:46 a.m.]: Dan McQuade reports that the fire has been declared under control by officials from the Philadelphia Fire Department. We’ll bring you more shortly.

UPDATE [10:30 a.m.]: Suit Corner in Old City is on fire at the moment.

CBSPhilly reports: “The fire broke out in the Suit Corner, on the southwest corner of Third and Market Streets, about 9:15am.  The fire department declared it under control about 40 minutes later but then quickly struck a second alarm as the blaze flared up and consumed the building. One firefighter had to be taken to Jefferson University Hospital when he tripped over a hose line while battling the fire.”

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Fire Above Hawthorne’s Cafe

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Fire at Hawthornes Cafe | Photo via Fox29

A fire has broken out above Hawthorne’s Cafe at 11th and Fitzwater. Fox29 has reported that the fire is in an apartment above the popular brunch and beer spot.

UPDATE: Hawthornes responds

 

More photos » 

Resident’s Video of His House Burning After South Philadelphia Gas Explosion

On Thursday night, a gas explosion rocked Bancroft Street in South Philadelphia. The resident, Ron Talton, a manager at Chris’ Jazz Cafe on Sansom Street, shot this depressing video of his house being destroyed.

In the video, a shaken Talton can be heard saying, “It exploded in the basement… I fell through the floor when the explosion happened. I didn’t fall through, but I was right in the middle of my living room… Is there a coat or a blanket I can put on?”

A representative of Chris’ Jazz Cafe says that a benefit is in the works, and we’ll get you details on that when they become available.

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