Updated at 10:49 a.m. A 2-alarm fire erupted in the Suit Corner clothing store in Old City Wednesday morning. One firefighter was transported to Jefferson University hospital with minor injuries.
The Suit Corner comprises a low corner building and an attached four-story building next door. Both are a total loss after a fire ripped through the iconic business.
This is not the Shirt Corner, which had partially collapsed during its recent demolition. That building, across the street from the fire, is now cleared, and the lot is ready for new construction.
The Suit Corner opened for business, as usual this morning, at 9 a.m. Owner Gary Ginsberg said there were eight employees and no customers inside when a fire started in the window display. He suspects it started as an electrical fire, spreading faster than he could dowse it with a fire extinguisher.
“It was just too strong,” said Ginsberg. “The old wood from the 1800s — it just went up in a wildfire.”
The employees left the building safely, and residents of the neighboring building self-evacuated. Seventy-fire firefighters responded to the the blaze, with one suffering a minor sprained ankle.
“Sixty years in the business. We started this at 3rd and Market,” said Ginsberg. “I just lost my mother three weeks ago. Now this is happening. It’s a major catastrophe. It’s the only thing I know how to do in life, is work in this retail business.”
The windows of the upper floors were boarded up. Firefighters broke through the plywood to get at the flames, which shot out of the roof of the building. The fire did not spread to any other buildings.