It has been little over a month since a five-alarm fire on Jan. 10 ripped through the Windermere Court Apartments on 48th and Market, destroying the upper floors of the former residential complex and leaving residents and locals alike scrambling to recover from this sudden and tragic disaster.
“I walk this way everyday to class,” said University of Pennsylvania student Nyugen Kim. “One morning it was there and then the next it was gone.”
However, the hardships for residents of Windermere Court are far from over, as recovery is hampered by silent landlords who have kept former residents from re-entering the building to salvage what belongings they have left. Owned by New York-based David and Sam Ginsberg, the building has been closed and residents have been unable to contact the landlords since their initial deposit checks were returned and have been barred from re-entering the complex.
“We had to beg the pharmacy for my sister’s allergy pills,” Landa Green said angrily about her sibling who is a tenant at Widermere Court. “She just got her prescription filled but it’s inside that building and no one’s letting us in!”
Protests have followed, the most recent on Feb. 12 in an attempt to raise awareness for residents whose pets may still be alive in the building, but the tenants have been unable to search for. In the meantime, the residents are left outside, waiting as city officials continue to argue about the indefinite suspension of the planned demolishment of the structure, which the fire marshall has declared unsafe. There remain no ideas as to what caused the fire.