Power outage forces hundreds of elderly residents out of their homes in West Philly

John McDevitt
July 19, 2019 - 4:58 pm

John McDevitt/KYW Newsradio


UPDATED: July 20: 11:08 a.m. 

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A frightening reminder of just how dangerous this heat can be came Friday in Wynnefield Heights. A partial outage at an apartment building for seniors had to be evacuated forcing hundreds out in the sweltering conditions for hours.

Nearly 300 residents had to be evacuated from the power went out in many of the units of Pavilion Apartments, near Conshohocken Avenue and West Country Club Road.

Those with electricity were told to shelter in place the others were evacuated.

Among the residents was 67-year-old Lloyd Gaines

"The people are handicapped, they are bed ridden. Oxygen you got it! They are half blind, look at them,” he told KYW Newsradio.  

Fellow resident Mohammad was holding a bag of heart medication as he just got out of the hospital.

"The food you have in the freezer is gone,” he said. “The food you have in the fridge is gone. The building is like an oven.”

Some of the resident sought refuge from the sweltering heat inside of SEPTA buses, and others were being cared for in a nearby building.

The residents might be able to return Saturday, officials say. 

Dan Phasch, assistant property manager at the apartment complex, confirms that power was restored at about 7 Saturday morning.  

L&I has been on site all morning conducting system tests, and hr says alarm system and electronic tests are also underway.

Phasch says they are still waiting for clearance from the city to let the residents return to their homes.

KYW Newsradio's Hadas Kuznits contributed to this report.