Fire Extinguished at Wanamaker Building

[Update 12:04 a.m.] NBC 10 reports the fire was extinguished quickly, with no injuries:

The fire occurred in a ninth floor office and was under control a short while later, according to fire dispatchers.

There were no reports of injuries but with people out on the sidewalk and fire equipment on the scene, traffic around City Hall came to a halt for nearly an hour. By 10:45 a.m., traffic began moving again.

[Original 11:06 a.m.] We don’t know much yet, but:

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Hero Teen Pulls Officer From Burning Car

FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

17-year-old Joe Chambers is being praised as a hero this week after pulling a Philadelphia police officer from a burning car.

The incident happened Saturday evening at 28th and Tasker, in Grays Ferry. Chambers was watching TV at a nearby location when he heard Officer Mark Kimsey’s car collide with a black pickup.
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Tom Fischer’s Reopens in Westmont

Tom Fischer’s Tavern has reopened in Westmont, New Jersey, just about six-months after a fire closed the popular watering hole. Though the fire damage was minimal, the smoke forced the bar to be gutted down to the studs. Now the bar is back with all new booths, walls and windows.

But judging by the Courier Post’s article, the people will make it the same old Tom Fischer’s very quickly.

Fischer’s Tavern in Haddon Twp. reopens after fire [Courier-Post]

City Tavern Closed Due to Fire

city-tavern-400There was a fire in a dumpster outside of City Tavern last night. The fire did not cause any internal damage but Walter Steib’s restaurant will be closed temporarily.

No word on when exactly the Old City restaurant will reopen but an email states, “thankfully, no one was injured in the incident and the restaurant will reopen within days.”

UPDATE: City Tavern says the fire did “more damage to the electrical system than we originally thought.” They’re hoping to reopen by Wednesday or Thursday.

City Tavern [Official]

Hawthornes Returning Bigger, Better, Warmer and Offering More than Ever

hawthornesHawthornes is coming back, and with a bang, people. After a fire above the Bella Vista bruncherie and beer store in February damaged the building, Hawthornes is expected to reopen around the end of November. The restaurant will return with new menu items, more seating, and more booze, thanks to a full liquor license. Along with the new drink options, more beer taps will be added, as well as a new growler station.

Hawthornes has also mentioned another beer surprise, “an ace up their sleeve,” that they feel will revolutionize the beer side of things.

The cafe has added a baking department, which will be whipping up muffins, rustic loaves of bread, and more, every morning. Not only that, there will also be an eight-seat breakfast counter, right next to a new and bigger fireplace.

Sunday dinners will also be available, and Hawthornes will also be opening for earlier hours during the week.

Hawthornes [Foobooz]

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

Fire rips through landmark S.J. diner []

Fire Closes Varga Bar


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.


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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