Investigation Begins Into Old City Fire

Investigation Begins Into Old City Fire

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PHILADELPHIA -

Fire investigators returned to the scene of Wednesday's 2-alarm fire at the Suit Corner looking for clues into how and where the devastating fire started. Joining the investigation was the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms' highly trained National Response Team.

It's a slow methodical process. It's challenging because we have to make sure the structure is safe to enter," said ATF Agent Steve Bartholomew.

Suit Corner owner Gary Ginsberg quickly lent a hand as he showed investigators where he believes the fire started. Right in a front window display case in this four story building that housed his family's business for 60 years.

"I tried to pull the item that was on fire out of the window," he told Fox 29. "I thought it was a suit that fell on a light."

A dog specially trained to sniff out accelerants was also on scene, but investigators cautioned that the dog and the presence of the ATF were routine in big commercial business fires like this.

"ATF's presence here doesn't mean a criminal act occurred," Batholomew said. "We have subject matter investigators who have technical expertise when it to fire investigations."

In the meantime, restaurants like Pizzicato cleaned up and opened up for business across from the fire scene. The owner of a nearby news stand that was soaked with water from the fire wasn't so lucky. He'll have to wait a while longer.

"I hope they let me open because I'm losing money," he said "I'm out of business now and I have no other income."

Several other businesses along Market street were in the process of finishing cleanup work from smoke and water damage and hoping to reopen as soon as possible.

"You don't know what's gonna happen next," Ginsberg said.
 
"We have one after another thing. Disaster," said the newstand owner.

Ginsberg says he hopes to open at least a temporary store to replace the Suit Corner in Old City, Possibly in vacant space on Third Street. He says his loses are substantial.

There is no timetable on when the fire investigation will be complete.  

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