239 Chestnut Street which burned into a crisp in Old City has an interesting new development: a criminal investigation.
A source close to the building has relayed to Philadelinquency that the ATF has identified a person of interest related to the fire investigation. Investigators have been reviewing security camera footage around the 200 block of Chestnut Street to ascertain where the suspect was moments prior to the fire. Police have privately relayed to close residents that the fire was deliberately set.
The historical commercial building which included condo apartments burned early Sunday morning. The fire consumed nearly all of the apartments above. At least 9 cats and 4 birds perished in the fire.
At a police-to-community relations meeting held late Wednesday, residents who attended were given a bit more detail about how the fire transpired. The fire began in the basement underneath the B Side Diner. From there, it spread laterally from basement to basement and up to the ground floor, racing its way up vents and openings between floors.
Any time there is a suspicious fire in Philadelphia where the circumstances are peculiar, the ATF is called. Fire inspectors examining the structures could not pin down any fault with maintenance of the buildings to be the root cause of the fire.
L&I has also announced today that they will now take measures to protect the building facades affected by the fire in hopes that they can be redeveloped.