Fire at corner of 48th and Walnut (updated)

January 10, 2011

Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers speaking at about
7:30 p.m. as firefighters brought the blaze at 48th and Walnut Streets under control.
(Photo by West Philly Local)

8:35 p.m.: Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said 89 of the 90 apartments affected by the fire were occupied. Ayers said the fire, which appeared to have started in the northwest corner of the building, moved east toward 48th Street. “It went west to east through that building pretty fast,” Ayers said. He did not speculate on a cause.

So far about 100 residents have registered with the Red Cross at their shelter at the Locke Alaine School at 4550 Haverford Ave., according to Red Cross Philly CEO Donna Palmieri. She said the youngest person displaced by the fire is a 4-week-old baby. Palmieri suggested donating money to Red Cross Philly rather than clothing or supplies so that the Red Cross can buy exactly what the families need, everything from medication lost in the fire to offsetting costs for lost driver’s licenses. Individual case help will be available beginning at 10 a.m. on Tuesday at the Locke Alaine School at 4550 Haverford Avenue.

“Most of the families right now are in pretty good shape,” said Palmieri. “They’re distressed about the loss. They’re concerned about their pets and their belongings.”

8:29 p.m.: School officials announced that West Philadelphia High School and Henry C. Lea Elementary School will be closed on Tuesday. West Philadelphia High School was used as a temporary shelter in the early hours of the fire.

7:40 p.m.: The fire has been contained. A city worker was injured and taken to the hospital, according to fire commissioner Lloyd Ayers.

6:50 p.m.: The fire has spread to three sections of the building along Walnut Street.

Firefighters battle blaze from northwest corner of the Windermere Court Apartments complex at 48th and Walnut Streets. (Photo by West Philly Local)

A five-alarm fire is blazing at the southwest corner of 48th and Walnut Streets at the Windermere Court Apartments, a multiple-section four-story brick building. The fire appears to have begun on the top floor of the far west building but has spread to an adjacent building.

UPDATE: Here is some raw video of the fire shot at about 4 p.m.

Fire officials could not confirm whether anyone was trapped in the building or how the fire began.

Several residents reported that there was no warning when the fire started at about 2:35 p.m. Many said they did not hear a fire alarm.

An evacuation center has been set up for those displaced from the building at the Locke School at 46th and Haverford Avenue.
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  1. Footage of fire at 48th and Walnut | West Philly Local Says:

    […] 10 January 2011 Here is some raw footage we shot at about 4 p.m. from the five alarm fire at the Windermere Court Apartments at 48th and Walnut Streets. Follow the story as it’s updated here. […]

  2. The fire’s aftermath | West Philly Local Says:

    […] Philadelphia High School and Henry C. Lea Elementary are both closed today in the aftermath of the fire yesterday at the Windermere Court Apartments complex at 48th and Walnut Streets. Also, SEPTA has […]

  3. Celebrating Walnut Hill on Community Day | West Philly Local Says:

    […] Hughes, who grew up a block away from the celebration on St. Bernard St., also announced a partnership between WHCA and his office to further help victims of the Windermere Apartments fire. […]

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