On Wednesday June 20, at 3:45 hours, calls were received through communications reporting a fire at a warehouse on Westmoreland Street in the Kensington section on Philadelphia. One neighbor reported he was awaken when he smelled smoke coming in his window. He looked out his window to see the warehouse full of fire and called 9-1-1.
Tactical Box 5337 was dispatched to H Street and the crew aboard Westmoreland. Engine 25 arrived and reported heavy fire on all three floors, requesting the 2nd alarm.
A 38-year-old man was rescued from the second floor. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment. One firefighter also received minor injuries.
The blaze quickly escalated to another alarm.
At 4 a.m., the battalion chief requested a fourth alarm due to the fire jumping the street with multiple dwellings on fire. The fire eventually reached seven alarms, bringing 175 firefighters and 50 pieces of apparatus to the scene.
The building had been vacant for five years, and neighbors complained to the city the structure must come down.
The fire department was called to the building multiple times within the last couple years for small fires in the building.>
Eight homes were involved in the blaze, and forced the evacuation of about 100 people. A total of 27 families were affected by the fire.
Hundreds were left without power during the time of the blaze. The blaze was declared under control around 6 a.m. Firefighters remained on location for over 24 hours hitting hot spots in the building.