N. Phila. high-rise residents return home after fire

Posted: December 09, 2013

Residents returned to their apartments about noon Saturday after being evacuated Friday night when a fire started in a bedroom on the 16th floor of a Philadelphia Housing Authority high-rise near Temple University.

The blaze broke out just before 9 p.m. Friday on the 16th floor at the Fairhill Apartments, 2443 N. 11th Street. No one was injured.

About 220 residents were evacuated from the 150-unit building and taken to a nearby school, where a temporary shelter was set up, said James Griffith, acting supervisor of the Philadelphia Fire Department's communications center.

"We have shut down the shelter, and they are being allowed back into their apartments," Griffith said, shortly before noon.

PHA spokeswoman Nichole Tillman said the agency worked with authorities through the night to get the residents back in their homes.

"PHA would like to thank the Philadelphia Fire Department, Police Department, Office of Emergency Management, L&I, Red Cross, Salvation Army, and the School District for their assistance in this fire," Tillman said. "And we want to thank the residents for their patience and their cooperation so we could ensure no one was hurt."

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the fire marshal, Griffith said.

Residents were evacuated and power was shut off in the building after a water pipe had burst, officials said Friday.

The Red Cross said it helped more than 100 people after a reception center was set up for displaced residents at Julia de Burgos Elementary School at 401 W. Lehigh Ave. By 10 p.m. Friday, the fire had been knocked down, officials said.


lloyd@phillynews.com

215-854-2831

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