"Windermere Court Apartments"

NBC story on cats from West Philly fire

Posted on 14 January 2011 by Mike Lyons

Here’s a story from NBC 10 on the tireless work by City Kitties, a West Philadelphia based feline rescue organization, to help cats lost and found from the Jan. 10 Windermere Court Apartments fire. The organization has a list of recovered and missing cats, including photos when possible, on its website here. Well over 100 people were made homeless from the fire at 48th and Walnut Streets.

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Helping out the fire victims

Posted on 11 January 2011 by Mike Lyons

There are a number of ways people in the neighborhood can help out the victims of yesterday’s fire at the Windermere Court Apartment complex at 48th and Walnut Streets.

The Salvation Army center in West Philadelphia at 5501 Market St. is accepting a variety of donations, including clothing and linens. The center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Although the main entrance is on Market Street, it is easier to access from the back on Arch Street, where the door to the storage facility is located.

Here is an interview with Natasha Rush of the Salvation Army:

The Red Cross Philly, which is operating the shelter at the Locke School at 4550 Haverford Avenue is asking donors not to bring cash donations or clothing to the shelter. The best way to donate to the Red Cross, which is providing emergency supplies and spending money for the victims as well as connecting them to counseling and other types of services, is to donate on the website.

Here is an interview with Dave Schrader with the Red Cross:

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The fire’s aftermath

Posted on 11 January 2011 by Mike Lyons

Aftermath of fire at West Philadelphia's Windermere Court Apartments

12:25 p.m.: We just stopped by the Salvation Army center at 5501 Market St. and confirmed that they are accepting donations of clothing and other household items. The entrance to the center is on Arch St. They are open until 4 p.m. today and open at 9 a.m.

11:03 a.m.: We just heard that the Salvation Army center at 5501 Market St. is accepting donations of anything accept furniture. We are trying to confirm that. Their phone number is 215-474-1010.

10:35 a.m.: We just got off the phone with the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. The Red Cross, again, suggested making donations at their website and urged people NOT to bring cash to the shelter at the Locke School at 46th and Haverford. The Salvation Army will issue vouchers to victims to shop for clothing at the Salvation Army Thrift Store (likely the one at 2140 Market). The person at the Salvation Army headquarters suggested dropping off clothes there. We’re now told that the best place to drop off donations is at the Salvation Army Center at 5501 Market St.

9:10 a.m.: We just returned from the fire scene. Firefighters are still spraying the northeast corner of the building. A firefighter we talked to said it would probably be “a couple of days” before residents will be allowed back in their homes to retrieve belongings. The heaviest damage seems to be the northwest corner of the building, where at least two floors are destroyed. That’s where the fire was heaviest when we arrived yesterday about 3:45 p.m. It spread east from there.

Just a reminder that West 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 rerouted the 21, 31 and 64 buses around the scene. We’re still trying to track down the exact detour route and we will post here when the routes are restored.

Many victims of the fire, which displaced folks from 89 apartments, are staying at an emergency shelter set up at the Locke School at 46th and Haverford. Red Cross workers will provide counseling and services there this morning, including the passing out of emergency debit cards. Red Cross Philly has asked those who want to help to donate money at its website.

Given what has happened in the past here with big fires, though, we suspect there might be some help organized in the neighborhood. Please let us know in the “comments”  if you hear of anything.

We will continue to update this story as details come in so check back and send us any info you want to share with neighbors to editor – at –

Here’s a banner running at the Red Cross website (click to enlarge):

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