Old City Business Owners Talk About The Fire

Old City Business Owners Talk About The Fire That Destroyed 'Suit Corner'

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PHILADELPHIA -

This stretch of Market Street has seen its up and downs. For years it was a dead zone, and then came back to life with the help of bars, restaurants, outdoor cafes.

Business owners here have survived it all, and you have to believe, they will weather this latest storm.

Fox 29's Bruce Gordon talked with shop owners in the area.

For 20 years, Bobby Inamdar's corner newsstand has sat in the shadow of the suit corner.

A decade ago, he watched the umbrella store on 3rd Street burn to the ground.

"And this is my real neighbor. Oh, that's terrible. That's terrible. That's a disaster," Inamdar said.

The first sign of smoke and the first news reports from Fox 29, sent neighboring merchants running to the scene.

They can be forgiven for thinking of their own shops first.

When we asked Revolution House owner Luca Sena what was going through his mind when the fire broke out he said, "I hope it wasn't my property. That's basically what it was, but I knew the smoke was too far down. So I parked my car and came running down here. Everybody's going to be coming down here. We'll support these guys. It's a shame."

There is a sense of camaraderie among the merchants here.

"Every morning the owner of the store comes to my shop and buys a coffee, talking," Lake Blue Gourmet Market owner Charlie Lim said. 

One merchant said that they are all in this together.

Smoke and water damage, street closures and other disruptions may mean lost profits for neighboring merchants.

"Every day of business lost is a serious thing. About ten years ago, the building behind us burned and we were probably closed for about a week, because of smoke damage," Fork Restaurant owner Wayne Aretz said.

Aretz speaks for all of these merchants, when asked, what next? What do you do when flames destroy your business?

"You just keep plugging away. You have to like it and you just keep going," Aretz said.

Wayne will see his own patience put to the test.

He now believes "Fork" will be closed for business for at least a couple of days.

He's also been told the electrical gear in the restaurant basement is now under water and shot.

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