February 19, 2018
As the 200 block of Chestnut Street continues to recover from the massive fire early Sunday morning, officials are weighing whether to demolish the Old City structures that sustained the worst damage.
No people in the buildings were injured or killed, and all totaled, about 160 residents and hotel guests were evacuated during the fire. Two firefighters suffered minor injuries.
It took approximately 400 firefighters to out power the four-alarm blaze that began on the sixth floor of an apartment building at 239 Chestnut St., located across from the Museum of the American Revolution and sharing a wall with the Best Western Plus Independence Park Hotel.
The Department of Licenses and Inspection said on Monday the building was “imminently dangerous” and called on the building’s owner to remove its outdoor fire escape in the interest in salvaging the building's structural sustainability.
The area of Chestnut Street between Second and Third streets remains closed to traffic Monday but opened for pedestrians at 10 a.m. The Museum of the American Revolution also re-opened at that time after closing Sunday to house some evacuees.
The Museum is OPEN today - Mon. Feb. 19 - from 10-5. Please note that Chestnut and Third Sts. are closed around the Museum due to fire dept activity, but open to pedestrians. See our website for more info: https://t.co/CaKBcvku4B #PresidentsDay2018— AmRevMuseum (@AmRevMuseum) February 19, 2018
Numerous nearby restaurants and businesses also were damaged by the fire, including the Little Lion, which sits at the corner of Third and Chestnut Streets. The restaurant closed Sunday; there's no word yet if it can reopen Monday.
Due to nearby fire, we are closed for today. Stay tuned as we wait for firefighters to finish and let us in bldg. We will update soon after accesss damage. Thoughts to those being displaced + to neighbor businesses. @phillyinsider @EaterPhilly @foobooz @HughE_Dillon @nydia_han— The Little Lion (@LittleLionPHL) February 18, 2018
Cocktail bar Gina’s 45 and 24-hour eatery Revolution Diner also were severely damaged, and Capofitto Pizza + Gelato announced on social media it would remain closed Monday.
Traffic and SEPTA are affected by the fire, with SEPTA bus routes 17, 21, 33, 42, 48, 5, 57, and 9 detoured.
It’s still unknown when those local businesses can expect to reopen, and whether the building and neighboring hotel will be salvageable.
The Philadelphia Fire Department continue to investigate and has not released a report on the cause of the fire.