PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Parts of Chestnut Street are reopening months after a fire tore through an apartment building in Old City.
The four-alarm fire on Feb. 18 had gutted the apartment building, destroying 239 Chestnut Street and seriously damaging the adjacent buildings. The apartment building has since been demolished.
Directly across the street sits the Museum of the American Revolution. They were all decked out for President’s Day weekend but turned their property into a makeshift shelter after flames broke out.
“We just canceled that. We repurposed the breakfast mostly to take in people who were evacuated,” said John Jumper, acting CEO of the Museum of the American Revolution.
Since the fire, Chestnut Street between 2nd and 3rd remained closed to pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
“You see the people walking up and down the street looking at the crane not being there. At the beginning they were looking at the crane being there,” said Jumper.
That crane helped ATF agents with their on-scene investigation. A spokesperson tells CBS3 the results of the investigation won’t be completed for another few weeks.
Employees from shops that line this block say business has been slow. They even created maps for tourists on how to avoid the closed roads. Those maps are now, fortunately, outdated.
With the warm weather finally, business owners hope that traffic only increases.
“I’m so emotional. It just opened now. I’m just speechless. I’m so happy they’re opened,” said Tina Hu, manager of the Xeno Gift Shop.
More than 100 people were displaced due to the fire. Some pets died in the blaze, but no one else was injured.