On Saturday afternoon April 6th, 2013 a fire swept away everything in Jack B. Fabrics along with everything we owned as well as the belongings of six others in our building and 9 others in surrounding buildings. In what was called an 8-alarm fire, the blaze swept through the building and claimed the life of Michael Goodwin, a firefighter for the city of Philadelphia.
Allegedly starting in the basement of Jack B’s Fabrics on 748 S. 4th St. in the Queen Village / Fabric Row area, the fire started off with little fanfare. Alarms sounded and we ignored it at first since it was the middle of the day and nothing seemed amiss. Five minutes later I stepped out into the hallway to knock on the doors to ask the neighbors to open the windows so that the alarm would go off. Halfway up the stairs I noticed that there was a wood-burning smell that didn’t smell like food and I descended down to the second floor hallway. Katie motioned to me as I reached the second floor landing to look at the bottom of the steps and when I did I saw white smoke coming from the washer/dryer area. Thinking it was laundry / lint that had caught fire on the dryer, I grabbed a helmet and oven mitts and grabbed the smoke-filled clothing and threw it outside. When there was no change we stepped outside for a moment to talk to the landlord. He walks around the corner and says to us, we’ve got a small fire in the basement.
The remnants of everything we owned come floating down on our shoulders.