Rittenhouse Square fire escape collapses, 3 hurt

     (Image courtesy of NBC10)

    (Image courtesy of NBC10)

    Authorities say three people were injured, one critically, when a fire escape landing collapsed and fell in downtown Philadelphia.

    Officials say a 22-year-old man, 24-year-old woman and 26-year-old woman were all on the landing of the fire escape of the third floor of the historic John C. Bell apartment building on 229 S 22nd Street around midnight on Sunday. Suddenly the landing came loose and collapsed. The three victims fell approximately 35 feet to the ground.

    A neighbor who lives in the building next door said many young people live in the building and the three were “partying” on the landing. She said she heard what sounded like “this incredible explosion” and then screams. She then called 911.

    All three were taken to the hospital. The man is in critical condition while the two women are stable.

    Officials from the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections were at the scene investigating.

    The John C. Bell complex is on the city’s national historic registry. It was built in 1906 for John C. Bell, who served as the attorney general of Pennsylvania. John Bell’s sons, John C. Bell Jr. and Bert Bell also lived at the home. John Bell Jr. served as the Lieutenant Governor and Governor of Pennsylvania as well as Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Bert Bell was the co-founder of the Philadelphia Eagles as well as an NFL commissioner.

    The house was sold in 1944 and converted into an apartment complex.

    No reports of any violations were found on the L&I website.

    Stay with NBC10.com for more details on this developing story.

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