PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A fatal fire at an Old City hotel was deliberately set, according to the Philadelphia fire marshal’s office, and homicide detectives are now investigating the incident.
Firefighters were called to the Omni Hotel, at Fourth and Chestnut Streets, by the hotel’s automatic alarm system shortly before 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
The entire 14-story building was evacuated, but the fire was confined to one room on the eighth floor.
When firefighters entered the room, they found 49-year-old Patrick Brady, of Thorndale, Pa., dead inside. According to sources, Brady was strangled, beaten and robbed before a fire was set in his room in an apparent attempt to cover up the crime.
Detectives were waiting for autopsy results to determine the exact cause of death. But foul play is suspected because the fire marshal has ruled the fire in his room an arson.
Homicide detectives are reviewing surveillance video from the hotel to determine if Brady was with anyone before his murder or before the fire was reported.
Brady, who worked in the Information Technology department at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, would at times stay at the Omni Hotel instead of commuting back home to Chester County.
He leaves behind a wife and a young daughter.
The investigation into his death is ongoing.
Reported by Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio and Todd Quinones, CBS 3