PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Dozens of former residents of the Windermere Court Apartments in West Philadelphia protested its imminent demolition outside the burned-out building this morning.
The fire was bad enough, they say, but now they feel betrayed in its aftermath and say they are being ripped off.
When the Windermere burned on January 10th (see related story and photos), more than 100 people were left homeless. They got immediate aid (related story), but never got any official access to the lower, less damaged floors so they could recover their personal belongings.
Former Christopher Artwell says he and others can’t get permission to get their things.
Evan Hoffman (far right, holding green sign), standing alongside the arm of a huge demolition machine this morning, talked of going in for his own belongings last night and then helping another former tenant.
“She lived over here. I had a headlamp. I went in, I helped her get her family photos,” he said. “She lived there for about 10 years. She had her kids’ photos and diplomas and documents that I carried, that we had to put over the fence here in the dead of night.”
Hoffman adds that many apartments have been ransacked by thieves.
Louisa Alexander of City Kitties says officials spent just two days after the fire looking for freaked-out pets.
“Since then, we’ve managed to get five cats out of the building alive, more than a month after the fire,” she says. “Yesterday morning was actually the last one that was rescued.”
The Pennsylvania SPCA got a warrant to search the building over the weekend and rescued one cat.
Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio 1060.