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Fire Destroys Home in West Ambler Section of Whitpain Township

A fire Saturday night destroyed a home on Railroad Ave. in the West Ambler section of Whitpain Township.

was called to 232 Railroad Ave. in the West Ambler section of Whitpain Township, on Saturday night for a report of a fire on the first and second floors of a residence.

Original reports from Breaking News Network (BNN) said there was possible entrapment in the residence. Centre Square Fire Chief Lee Miller said after primary and secondary searches, firefighters found no entrapment in the home. There were no injuries to occupants of the residence.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

The home has been declared uninhabitable and the Philadelphia Red Cross is aiding the five families, consisting of eight people.

The Red Cross said they provided the families with food and clothing and the families are currently staying in a hotel.

Make donations to the Philadelphia Red Cross by going to RedCrossPhilly.com or calling 215-299-4000. Donations go into a general fund to help families across the region.

Ron Curtis, owner of in Ambler, posted on Facebook on Saturday morning that the families are staying at the Holiday Inn in Fort Washington and donations can be dropped off at the hotel for the victims of the fire.

william May 21, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Whitpain township continues to disregard this part of their town , i blame them for the fire as the do not inspect / monitor this poor area of Whitpain township , or do any maintence to it either . Tike a ride to this area & see the lovely part of historic Whitpain .
Mike May 21, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Thanks William. I don't know about blaming Whitpain, but I plan on taking a ride to see what you are talking about. Any particular lovely things I should keep an eye out for or visit? I appreciate it!
Malika Batwinda Hightower III May 21, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Growing up in this part of Ambler in a home that was built in 1924, I know that most, of not all the properties here need rewiring. Handing out smoke detectors did not and is not doing the job. I will make sure this house is inspected, but I feel like West Ambler is cursed.
william May 21, 2012 at 02:02 PM
I was thinking about contacting state rep. / congressman to see why this part of Whitpain is so neglected . I guess they think that eventually all the properties will burn down and they will eliminate the area . I have been here for going on 20 years and there is now about 30 homes gone from fire in a 3 block radius , go figure . Roads / gas lines have not been updated in the 20 years either , the rest of the township gets updates all the time .
Barry Williams May 21, 2012 at 02:21 PM
I think another issue is that some residents don't care about the neighborhood. They litter, graffiti up spots, hang out on the corners, and ride ATVs all over the streets causing a disturbance. I hope they tear down the building there and turn the corner into something nice that will raise the level of the neighborhood.
Barry Williams May 21, 2012 at 03:30 PM
I completely agree with the anonymous comment. Certainly not all, but there are residents in the area who just don't care about their homes or this neighborhood. Maybe they are renting I don't know, but when you deal with drugs, run around the neighborhood, drive around on ATVs like you're on a farm somewhere, aimlessly hang out, and just have a general disregard for those residents that do care, what should the township be doing? Also it is the responsibility of the home owner to make sure their wiring and homes are up to date. If you rent then you need to talk to the landlord. The bottom line is that the building that burned down was a complete dump and not taken care of. Guys hang out there smoking and drinking on the steps all day and it's not a shock something like this happened. I know I heard several people say they hoped it just crumbled to the ground since its such an eyesore. I hope the township tears it down so it can stop bringing down the property values of everyone who lives around it.
Mike May 21, 2012 at 03:57 PM
William, I am now unclear. Is this part of Whitpain a lovely place to take a ride to and see, or a place of drug deals and other crime, some of which being done by the children who live there? If the latter, I think you should be more responsible with your comments. What exactly should someone go there to see?
big jon May 21, 2012 at 06:57 PM
West ambler is a drug haven. It's horrible down there and has been for over 20yrs. When I was young I wasn't allowed down there and it was only 4blocks away....honestly all the fires they have had down there for 20yrs is the best thing that can happen to get the worthless people away and back to north philly
william May 21, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Have you ever heard of ordinances , code violations , etc. It is the township responsibility to keep all neighborhoods safe & drug free . This is pure neglect by the township . If a property is in neglect , or drugs are being sold & the neighborhood is not properly enforced then who is to blame ?
william May 21, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Playground , basketball court , get real , hardly the size of a 1 car garage . You think your volunteer @ food cupboard has anything to do with this neighborhood , you are off the wall . Back to the neglected Whitpain topic .
william May 21, 2012 at 11:33 PM
That is quite an opinion big little jonnie , worthless people from north philly . You be talking about where you live . Any fire in a home is a tragedy , you are a very bitter being .
Guardian Angel May 21, 2012 at 11:45 PM
William, you seem like you do care but are a bit misguided. The township cannot inspect residential properties without a cause or complaint. They are private dwellings and some owned but slum lords. If you want to place blame, place on the rightful recipient, the people who live there. The same people who turn there heads when drugs change hands. The same people who continue to have children while re diving aid from he county and state while not doing a thing to give back. The same people who promised after 2004 that they would not let another tragedy happen like that. But guess what? There are still homes with windows boarded or blocked up with defenseless kids sleeping behind them. There are still homes where vilas of drugs are more common than food on the table. While I agree it is a shame, I can't see where the blame always has to fall on someone else. Just my opinion.
william May 22, 2012 at 10:36 AM
I have called the township numerous times for the housing problems , and was told oh there is nothing we can do you must come to the township and make a formal complaint on paper . I have done that twice to a property and nothing ever came of it . If they have been notified they should act , How about this condemned building that is 1 block long with asbestos roof flapping in the breeze , talk about a liability that has been is disarray since Sept. 2011 . I have called about that as well and nothing ever comes of it . If everyone thinks this area is full of drugs why have there not been any arrests ?
Mike May 22, 2012 at 07:31 PM
This conversation has intrigued me from the start. Not knowing this part of the Ambler/Whitpain area, I drove thru this block yesterday afternoon. With the exception of a few cared for homes, no one else seems to have any pride in their homes, or at the very least, are clearly extremely lazy about cleaning up around their homes and neighborhood. There are many homes in my neighborhood that need paint, and other maintenance, but none are sloppy and filthy, with litter on the street right out front. Trying to place the blame on the township is the most ridiculous concept I have ever heard. This neighborhood is very small, and has a play ground AND a basketball court, both of which seem perfectly sized for the area. Did the township supply these? Neglect? Give me a break. The first comment on this story blamed Whitpain Township for the fire. How did the fire start? Was it on purpose? Was it an accident? Bad wires? What are the actual facts? Placing blame on anything with no information is the mark of an idiot. Impulsive, childish, and stupid. Say something stupid, then try to support the stupidity afterward, instead of asking some obvious questions, get some facts, and formulate an intelligent opinion. So put me in the column of people who think the fire is a terrible shame for the families involved, and the township that put out the fire is not to blame.

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