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Early Morning Center City Fire Gives Neighbors A Chance To Meet

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(Credit: CBS 3)

(Credit: CBS 3)

Mike Dougherty Mike Dougherty
Mike is a general assignment reporter and editor for KYW Newsradio...
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By Mike Dougherty

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Hundreds of residents of a Center City high rise apartment building were rustled out of bed Saturday morning because of a small trash can fire.

It happened on the 4th floor of the Sterling at 18th Street and JFK Boulevard. Fire officials say the small nuisance fire was put out quickly, but the building’s sprinkler system turned on and wouldn’t shut off. The entire system had to be drained then refilled. Some of the water ended up inside the 7-Eleven on the ground floor.

Resident Dina says there’s a silver lining to being rushed out of bed at 2:00 a.m.

“I met new people. I’ve had good company outside, so we’re OK. And we evacuated in an orderly fashion and everything, so it’s alright.”

Jonah made the most of his time in the cold.

“Actually met my neighbors for the first time.”

He says good thing this was on a weekend so he doesn’t have to be up for work early.

It took about three hours for the building to re-open. SEPTA buses were brought in so some residents had a warm place to sit.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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