Old City fire site not yet stable enough for investigation, officials say

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Old City fire site still not stable enough to investigate: Annie McCormick reports on Action News at 4:30 p.m., March 27, 2018 (WPVI)

Chopper 6HD was overhead the scene of Old City fire that raged last month, burning several properties in the vicinity of Third and Chestnut streets.

On Tuesday, crews hauled more debris from inside.

The 4-alarm fire raged for hours on February 18.

Officials said it is believed the fire began in the basement of 239 Chestnut Street and spread to several buildings. Multiple people lost their homes.

The City's Department of Licenses and Inspection said they hoped to start demolition Tuesday, but for now that means dismantling portions of the buildings, not knocking any buildings down.

Fire officials said they aim to have ATF agents and Fire Marshal Investigators inside, on the ground by next week if all goes as planned.

Crews are working to stabilize the building so that investigators can safely enter.

This weekend, ATF agents were lowered inside for a glance but kept suspended inside equipment.

Officials have not said if the fire is suspicious.

In the meantime, the cranes and construction equipment has become its own attraction, with tourists visiting nearby landmarks and local residents just stopping to watch.

"We come by sometimes and just watch it," said Jonathan Purtle, of Northern Liberties. "Just watch the construction."

Officials said this is a fluid situation and everything depends on removing debris and making sure the structure is safe for investigators to enter.

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