"All my stuff is gone," said Cole. "I don't have no clothes. Sneakers, nothing."
Cole was among nearly 2 dozen people inside the apartment building at Frankford and Sellers when it went up in flames around 4 AM Tuesday. Cole says he was asleep in a third-floor apartment when he heard screams and headed for the window to await rescue. Questions race through his mind:
The wait seemed like forever, but firefighters were actually on scene within minutes, saving Cole and nearly a dozen others. Lizandra Perocier says the fire began in her second floor apartment, though she is not sure how. Tuesday afternoon she was allowed to briefly go inside to see what might be salvaged. The answer? Nothing.
"Ashes. Everything is gone," she said through tears. "I don't know what else to say-- it's just, everything is gone."
Perocier got out with her boyfriend and her three sons, the youngest of whom is just two years old.
"I was worried about everybody else inside," she explained. "I intended to go back in to try to help them but I couldn't because I had my son in my arms! So the only thing I was able to do is scream from the outside that there's a fire."
Despite the extensive damage to the building, only nine people were injured-- none of them seriously.
That news brought a smile to the face of Souhail Balech, a Lebanese pizza shop owner whose restaurant has anchored this building for nearly half a century.