WEST PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - Dozens of families remain displaced from their homes after a massive fire in Philadelphia’s Overbrook neighborhood last week.
Overbrook Gardens is now stained by smoke. It’s roof has surrendered to the sky and a fence keeps the curious away.
"Nobody wants to be burned out of their home. It's home once you loose your home and everything in it—pretty much lost everything," former resident Bernie Perry said.
Bernie Perry lived alone his 4th floor apartment. The fire claimed it all. He now lives with two dozens other former tenants in a city-run shelter in West Philly High with no idea what’s next.
60 residents were displaced in last Monday’s 5-alarm-blaze. 35 moved to the shelter where the 24 that remain are receiving city help in finding new homes. A challenge when moderate-income housing is scarce.
“When I looked out of my window I could see the fire still contained in that apartment in the center of the floor," Michelle Hunt said.
Hunt was boxed and ready to move to a new apartment the very morning of the fire.
"The fire took everything except the clothes on my back and what I could pack in this bag," she said.
The Fire Marshall tells FOX 29 the building remains too unstable for investigators to enter. The 4th floor is gone and the basement is filled with water.
That basement is where Caroline Mumberg lived with her late beloved husband Douglas for 19 years.
"His baby pictures. He painted the last supper. I had a ring for every finger. A scarf with Jesus loves you on it. Lots of valuable treasurers in that apartment," Mumberg said.