PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Department of Licenses and Inspections announced Friday that road closures will be taking place in parts of Old City next week for the demolition of a building following a multi-alarm fire.

L&I says the demolition of 239 Chestnut Street is expected to begin during the week of Feb. 26 and will likely take a week to complete.

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Old City road closures

Road closures announced for next week’s demolition of Old City building nearly destroyed in fire. (credit: CBS3)

Due to the demolition, L&I issued these road closures for next week.

  • Chestnut between South Bank and South 4th Streets
  • Elbow Lane Between South Bank and South 3rd Streets
  • South Bank between Elbow Lane and Chestnut Street
  • South 3rd Street between Elbow Lane and Walnut Street

Additional temporary road closures may become necessary during the demolition process.

“We want to get those roads open as soon as we can. We want to get people back in those buildings as soon as it’s safe to do that,” said L&I’s Karen Guss.

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Guss says crews have already started stabilizing 237 Chestnut Street and 239 Chestnut will start being demolished after that stabilization process is complete.


“When we have a fire, let’s say in a vacant property that has a vacant lot of both sides, we go in there and we are able to just get that down really quickly. But in a situation like this, it takes a lot of thought and planning and then it take a very deliberate process,” said Guss.

The four-alarm fire destroyed nearly the entire building in the fire, but the first-floor facade of 239 Chestnut will be able to be salvaged.

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The fire is still under investigation.