Fire house catches fire in historic Old City Philadelphia

A burnt medic unit is towed from the Engine 8, Ladder 2 firehouse on Friday after a fire at the fire station in a historic area of Philadelphia.

Story highlights

  • "Benjamin Franklin Firehouse" catches fire in historic neighborhood
  • Fire thought to have started in a medic unit on the ground level
  • It was put out in nine minutes, fire chief says
A fire station in a historic area of Philadelphia caught on fire Friday morning, said Battalion Chief Michael Richey.
Around 11:30 a.m. on Friday, calls came in to report a fire at the "Benjamin Franklin Firehouse" on the corner of Arch and Fouth streets in historic Old City Philadelphia. The firehouse sits on a block between the Betsy Ross house and Benjamin Franklin's tomb, Richey said.
No injuries were reported and great efforts were made to ensure that no historical landmarks were damaged by the fire, Richey said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it is believed to have originated in a medic unit on the ground level of the firehouse, Richey said.
"There was significant damage to the firehouse and the apparatus floor area, and the medic unit looks like the engine area is completely lost," said Richey, who said the blaze was put out in nine minutes.
Forty firefighters and eight fire trucks responded to the scene, including the engine's own firefighters, who were out on a training mission when the fire started, Richey said.
Efforts to repair the damaged firehouse are already underway, but it is unknown when the fire station will reopen, Richey said.
Although the firehouse is in a historical area, the firehouse itself is not considered a historical landmark, and was built in the 1970s, according to Richey.