Outraged Community Continues to Rally Over Fire Deaths, Fire Department Response Time

By Joshua Albert and Kenneth Lipp

Monday night hundreds of community members gathered outside the southwest Philadelphia Fire Station which responded to a fire on Saturday night, a blaze which resulted in 4 deaths and 42 displaced persons. Family and neighbors of victims of the Gesner Street fire at times blocked the entrance to the Engine 40 firehouse, and Philadelphia Police, dozens of whom were called to the scene from throughout the city, made several arrests.

A memorial erected at the site of the fire July 5 on Gesner Street, which killed four people. Photo by Joshua Albert

A memorial erected at the site of the fire July 5 on Gesner Street, which killed four people. Photo by Joshua Albert

The Declaration will be covering planned protests throughout the day. On scene at the demonstration last night, contributor  Joshua Albert filmed this interview, where a resident of the neighborhood predicts that last night’s display of displeasure from the community is only the beginning.

Joshua will be following any action today, and is currently on scene in Southwest Philadelphia. Follow him for updates on twitter, and we will continue to post the latest here as it breaks.

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About Kenneth Lipp

Kenneth is a writer and researcher. He’s from Alabama, and will not apologize for it. He moved to Pennsylvania in 2012, but has been in love with Philadelphia since a late-night stroll down Ben Franklin Parkway to the Art Museum in July of 2011 with the love of his life. He is interested in telling Philadelphia’s dynamic and absolutely unique stories with the zeal of a constantly enamored newcomer. Kenneth is also passionate about government transparency and protection of whistleblowers, most notably PFC Chelsea Manning. His research and reporting on law enforcement and surveillance have been featured in various publications, including Rolling Stone (Meet the Private Companies Helping Cops Spy on Protesters) and Popular Science (Boston Tested Crowd-Watching Software That Catalogues People's Skin Color). His training is in both genetics and history and he likes the joke about being a helicase and unzipping your “genes.” He’s driven to know, and thinks you can handle, the truth. Follow him on Twitter @kennethlipp.

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