PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A fire burned a fabric shop, upstairs apartments and a neighboring boutique Saturday evening, causing a partial roof collapse that killed a firefighter and injured a colleague who tried in vain to rescue him.
Firefighters saluted as the body of 53-year-old Capt. Michael Goodwin was carried from the remnants of the burned building in the city’s Fabric Row section. He was killed in a fall from the third floor roof to the second, Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said at a news conference.
The colleague who tried save him, 28-year-old Andrew Godlinski, was burned but is expected to survive, Ayers said.
The fire broke out around 5 p.m. at Jack B. Fabrics and spread to Urban Princess, a store next door. The stores’ proprietors said everyone in both buildings at the time of the fire managed to escape.
The fire’s cause wasn’t immediately known, but fabric store owner Bruce Blumenthal told The Philadelphia Inquirer he believes it started in a wall and may have been electrical in nature.
Blumenthal said he smelled smoke coming from the basement and found a box of collars and cuffs on fire. He tried to put the flames out with an extinguisher, to no avail.
The fire cut power to more than 300 customers. The Red Cross is assisting at least 17 people.
Two city firefighters died a year ago this month when a building collapsed while they were inspecting it after an adjacent blaze.