Witnesses Watch As Crews Battle A 2-Alarm Fire In Busy Old City
By Syma Chowdhry
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –Where there is smoke, there are spectators.
Market Street sees a lot of foot traffic but, with a fire at a popular store, the nearby sidewalks are packed with people watching the commotion
People who were blocks away from the area could smell the smoke.
A couple came from 10th and Callowhill.
“He said let’s go down and see what’s going on and then we saw the smoke.”
Some just watched firefighters in action, while others took photos.
Phil Umidi is an AT&T store manager across the street. He was here when building went up in flames.
Now, he is people watching, calling this a spectacle.
“I think it’s weird that people are literally not doing their job and standing there and watching a building burn down. That’s always a little odd.”
Some folks decided to eat lunch outside to watch the scene, but Ellen Yin had a good reason, she owns two restaurants nearby.
“We can’t go inside the restaurant and just so that we are accessible to the fire department and the gas department.”
This man lives next door to the Suit Corner but was at work in Media.
He ran over when he heard about the fire, concerned for his dog, Moon, but was relieved when he saw Moon being held by strangers.
“That was my biggest concern, obviously stuff can be replaced or repaired but you can’t get this replaced.”
Some spectators sat outside across the street to watch and even got a drink.
Denise Braud of Four Fathers says, “There are a lot of people come get a beer and watch the fire.”
Four Fathers restaurant has not only been serving curious on-lookers, but those who need help, as well.
“Any of the firefighters we’ve told them we would be happy to feed them, if they want something to drink and the neighbors that have been displaced.”