Fire at Feibush-Owned Point Breeze Property Ruled Arson

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.

Photo | Sandy Smith

Photo | Sandy Smith

On Monday, four Point Breeze townhouses owned by developer Ori Feibush burned to the ground – and now officials say the cause of the fire was arson.

The two-alarm fire at 1310 South 20th Street started at 4:15 a.m. on Monday, according to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ Philadelphia division. It reportedly took 75 firefighters about an hour to bring the flames under control.

ATF is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the arsonist or arsonists.

“Acts of arson are dangerous crimes and threaten the community,” ATF Special Agent in Charge Sam Rabadi said yesterday in a statement. “ATF is committed to keeping the public safe from those who maliciously set fires.”

Yesterday, City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson said he would increase reward money by $2,500.

There were no injuries in the fire, and the affected buildings were in various stages of construction. Feibush, who’s built many properties in the rapidly-developing neighborhood, was set to break ground that day on the second part of a project involving 11 new townhouses on the block.

It’s not the first time Feibush’s properties have been targeted. In 2013, someone threw a brick through a window of one of his coffee shops; in 2015, someone scribbled some (very amateur) graffiti on the side of one of his Point Breeze buildings and slashed the tire of his company car; and in late 2016, seven people defaced his Washington Avenue office (he offered a $25,000 reward to anyone who could identify those vandals).

In a Facebook post yesterday, Feibush said he doesn’t “think the arson was an isolated incident” and that he believes “there is a connection to previous instances of vandalism against our office and development projects as well as Monday’s vandalism in South Kensington.”

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