PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Firefighters spent Sunday morning battling a two-alarm fire inside a three-story building that was converted into apartments in West Philadelphia. Flames first broke out around 6:30 a.m. on the 4200 block of Parkside Avenue.
“I looked at my skylight and I saw smoke above and I was like, that doesn’t look right and I went out to the building and I could see the smoke and I ran downstairs and pulled the fire alarm,” Inayah Hart, who was displaced by the fire, said. “It filled up with smoke too fast so we just ran out and here we are.”
It took 75 firefighters nearly an hour to put the fire out. Some of them had to fight it from the roof, but before they got there, Hart says she knocked on all of her neighbor’s doors.
“I’m not a hero, I’m not a hero. It’s just we all look out for one another and pay attention,” Hart said.
Fire crews say the hardest part of getting this fire out was battling the weather.
“With the humidity and everything, we really just worked out butts off,” Battalion Chief Anthony Hudgins said. “We did a great job getting this under control, the roof deck on top of the roof provided a great challenge for us, but we were able to overcome that.”
Eleven people were home when this fire broke out and the fire department says they all got out safely and say that’s thanks to working smoke detectors.
“We always stress the importance of working fire alarms and in this case, it alerted the occupants and they were able to get them out safely,” Hudgins said.
The building is listed on Philadelphia’s register of historic places. It dates back to the late 1800s but was recently renovated.
It’s been featured in commercials and movies. Hart says it’s sad to see it go
“This block has a lot of history, it’s my love. It’s sad,” Hart said.
The cause of this fire is under investigation. Part of that investigation is whether or not people were shooting fireworks from the roof or whether nearby fireworks landed on the roof.
The American Red Cross is providing emergency recovery assistance to nine families who were displaced in the fire.