Gayborhood Hotel Evacuated After Fire

At least 54 residents of the Parker Spruce at 13th and Spruce streets were evacuated after a fire yesterday. No injuries were reported.

A fire late Monday afternoon at the Parker Spruce Hotel in the Gayborhood forced the evacuation of at least 54 residents. The one-alarm fire was under control in 10 minutes, but still forced scores of residents to leave.

They were apparently taken away from the scene on SEPTA buses.

The Parker Spruce, which sits at the corner of 13th and Spruce streets, was originally designed as a “bachelor’s apartment” in 1925. Now it’s Center City’s cheapest and dingiest hotel. While with Philadelphia Weekly years ago, Philadelphia magazine’s Steve Volk spent a night in the place.

“It was a den of iniquity when I started on the force,” Michael Chitwood Jr. told Volk in that piece. “And a den of iniquity when I left in 2004.”

The Westbury, a bar in the Parker Spruce which originally sat in the Westbury Apartments at 15th and Spruce, moved a few blocks east into the Parker Spruce in 1988.

Residents displaced by the fire were taken to a shelter at CAPA by the Red Cross. Three cats were also displaced by the fire and were being cared for. No injuries were reported.

[Inquirer]