3-alarm fire at West Philly auto body shop is under control

Andrew Kramer
October 21, 2019 - 10:42 am
Remains of auto body shop after fire

Andrew Kramer/KYW Newsradio


UPDATED: 3:15 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Flames raced through an auto body shop in the area of 59th and Spruce streets in West Philadelphia Monday morning.

Heavy, black smoke from the fire was visible in Center City.

The three-alarm fire broke out around 10 a.m., and about 120 units and 50 firefighters battled the blaze for around three hours before it was under control. 

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel and crews had their work cut out for them the moment they arrived.

"A lot of structural collapse is here, very dangerous operation. Incredible job by our firefighters staying out of the collapse zones, still managing to make great progress on the fire," Thiel said. 

Some of the people who live around the garage like Darryl Hunter says this auto shop is a popular spot in the neighborhood.

"It’s a hard thing for me right now. I have a lot of friends that have vehicles over there. That place is like a landmark over here," he said. 

Only a football field away, students at William L. Sayre High School were evacuated as a precaution, as well as a nearby day care.

According to the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections, the auto body shop where the fire broke out was cited for several fire code violations on Oct. 4.

The owner's family stood on a high school football field across the street from the shop, hugging each other as they watched firefighters on scene hose the building down. 

The Red Cross says they are assisting multiple families. 

There are no reports of any injuries.


This is a developing story. Stay with KYW Newsradio for the latest.

KYW Newsradio's Tim Jimenez contributed to this report.