Row home fire on 5200 block of Larchwood

Posted on 18 July 2016 by


Firefighters at the scene of fire on the 5200 block of Larchwood Ave. (Twitter photo @a_butler)

A serious fire broke out this evening in a two-story vacant row home on the 5200 block of Larchwood Avenue. The fire began shortly before 5 p.m. and was put out after about 18 minutes, according to

No people were found inside the building and no injuries were reported.


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Black Orchid Foods co-owner hurt in house fire

Posted on 13 July 2016 by

We’re sad to report that Robyn Biv, co-owner of Black Orchid Foods (Facebook page), the West Philly vegetarian and vegan catering service, was recently hurt in a house fire.

A fire erupted in her home near 51st and Kingsessing that destroyed her kitchen – where her business is based. Robyn suffered burns and was hospitalized. She has made a huge impact on the Kingsessing area by feeding many people for free or using a “sliding scale” with dietary restrictions always in mind. Some of you may have also tried the food served by Black Orchid at the most recent edition of Go West! Craft Fest.

While Robyn is recovering in the hospital from burns to her face, eyes, arms and hands, her friends set up a GoFundMe page to help her with some expenses.

Please follow this link if you would like to donate and support Robyn with your messages:

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Early morning fire at apartment building on 44th and Chestnut displaces over 100

Posted on 12 June 2016 by


A three-alarm fire displaced over 100 people from the Netherlands apartment building at 44th and Chestnut, according to reports. The fire broke out on the 4th floor of the building at around 5 a.m. on Sunday. No injuries have been reported.

The Red Cross and the City Office of Emergency Management have set up a reception center at 4209 Spruce St.:

A shelter for the displaced residents has been set up at the Cato School on the 4200 block of Ludlow Street, according to 6ABC.


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Orange tabby cat “Francis” missing after Hazel Ave. fire

Posted on 10 May 2016 by

The owners of an orange tabby cat, Francis, is making a plea with the community to help them find their pet after he escaped the deadly fire on the 4700 block of Hazel Avenue on May 7. The cat was reportedly spotted outside of the building after the fire, but is now lost. If you find the cat please call Rechelle at 620.719.0816 or Sean at 316.993.0695. Here’s a flier with more information:


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One person dies, one injured in morning fire on 4700 block of Hazel (updated)

Posted on 07 May 2016 by


UPDATE (May 8, 2016): Police say 59-year-old Calvin White died in the fire. Our deepest condolences to Mr. White’s family and friends. 

One person died and one person was injured after a morning fire on the 4700 block of Hazel Avenue. The blaze broke out at about 7:35 a.m. on the first floor of the three-story twin building at 4714 Hazel Ave.

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer told 6ABC that a man died trying to put out the fire, reportedly with a fire extinguisher.

Eight people escaped the blaze thanks to a fire alarm in the building. One of them, a 64-year-old man, was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania with injuries and was listed in stable condition.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. The fire marshal noted no suspicious circumstances, according to a police report.

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Windermere Apartments fire victims get their money

Posted on 14 January 2016 by Mike Lyons


Protestors took to the streets in the days following the devastating 2011 fire at Windermere Court Apartments. Photos by West Philly Local).

Five years after a catastrophic fire destroyed the Windermere Court Apartments at 48th and Walnut, building tenants who participated in a class-action lawsuit have received their share of a $4.75 million settlement.

fireThe fire that broke out on Jan. 10, 2011 destroyed the 90-unit building and left its residents scrambling for housing. Many spent days protesting the building owner’s decision not to let them return to retrieve their belongings and pets that may have survived the blaze.

The cause of the fire is disputed. An expert determined on behalf of the tenants during a 2013 civil trial that the fire resulted from faulty smoke alarms and sprinklers. The building owners – David, Sam and Aron Ginsberg – settled the suit a few days into the 2014 trial for $4.75 million and the settlement was certified last January.

The tenants’ class-action attorney, Tom Marrone, said that the payouts were completed this week. Each tenant who signed onto the suit received an average of $25,000 after legal and other fees.

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