Philadelphia firefighters contained a multi-floor blaze at a historic Philly hotel that started burning on Wednesday morning.
Crews arrived on the scene shortly after 10:15 a.m., said Fire Department spokesperson Kathy Matheson, to extinguish a fire that broke out at Hotel Carlyle on Poplar and 15th Streets near the edge of North Philly.
It took about an hour to contain the flames, which began on the second floor before spreading throughout the building, said Matheson. More than 75 Philadelphia Fire Department members — including firefighters, chiefs, and medics — responded to the scene.
Matheson said the blaze displaced eight individuals and two pets. One firefighter was also injured.
Hotel Carlyle is one of Philadelphia’s oldest boarding houses still in operation, and had previous lives as a medical facility and nursing school before becoming a hotel in 1946. The boarding house was included in several editions of The Negro Motorist Green Book, a guide to hotels across the United States where Black patrons wouldn’t face racial hostility.
The hotel relied on the success of several jazz clubs along Philly’s Golden Strip along Ridge and Cecil B. Moore Avenues, which housed one of the city’s first Black-owned jazz venues, Watts’ Zanzibar Cafe, and the Ebony Lounge, a club in the bottom of the Chesterfield Hotel, where Black performers stayed while performing at Uptown Theater.
Hotel Carlyle has survived other fires in the past: Flames consumed one side of the building, burning through the fourth floor, in 1985, while the Harris Hotel next door burned to the ground in 1987.