Officials: Fire left Old City building 'imminently dangerous'

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- City officials say an early morning fire at a building in Philadelphia's Old City has left the structure "imminently dangerous."

David Perri, commissioner of the Department of Licenses and Inspections, said the property appeared to be a "total loss."

After evaluating the damage Monday, the agency ordered the building's owner to remove an exterior fire escape to take the weight off the building facade on the upper floors. Perri says officials hope to save "the historic cast-iron facade."

Scores were evacuated from the building and adjacent structures after the alarm was sounded shortly after 3 a.m. Sunday. Fire crews reported the building engulfed in flames that were brought under control by 7 a.m. Sunday. No injuries were reported.

The cause of the blaze remains unknown.