building collapse

Rowhome Containing Pizza Place Collapses in Cloud of Dust at Philly Street Corner

The collapse reduced the building containing Key Food Pizza to rubble on Sept. 14, 2022

NBC Universal, Inc.

What to Know

  • A three-story rowhome that contained Key Food Pizza place and at least one apartment collapsed Wednesday morning.
  • A neighbor shared a photo of a cloud of dust moments after the collapse at East York and Memphis streets.
  • No injuries were reported.

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A rowhome that housed a longtime pizza shop collapsed in a cloud of dust at a Philadelphia street corner Wednesday morning, sending debris onto two streets.

The collapse happened around 9:45 a.m. at East York and Memphis streets, a Philadelphia Fire Department spokesperson said. Neighbors and local businesses call the area Fishtown.

Neighbor "Devonte" told NBC10's Miguel Martinez-Valle that he was driving down York when he heard rumbling and saw a dust cloud coming toward his car.

Firefighters arrived to find the three-story building "completely collapsed," the fire department spokesperson said.

As SkyForce10 hovered overhead, your could see bricks, dirt and debris all over the ground with firefighters and police officers on the scene. Firefighters could be seen sifting through the debris.

Key Food Pizza has operated from the corner property for many years, building owner Stefanos Haviaras said.

Philadelphia police and the fire department said the ground-floor business was closed at the time of the collapse and that the apartments on top of it were empty. No one was hurt.

"We're Fishtown proud," the devastated building owner said. Haviaras said his parents started the business. "I'm very sad for my family."

NBC10's Miguel Martinez-Valle speaks to the heartbroken owner of a building that contained Key Food Pizza after the Fishtown pizza place collapsed while closed Wednesday morning.

He said that had the collapse happened just 30 minutes, or so, later that a worker could have been inside preparing pizza ahead of the business opening at 11 a.m.

The woman who now operates the pizza place told NBC10's Deanna Durante that she hopes to get her business up and running again as quickly as possible.

Haviaras and neighbors said there has been a lot of recent construction nearby.

There was excavation work being done on a lot next, the City said. The site had permits, but inspectors wanted to know if the work caused the ground to become unstable.

At least six fire engines and city Licenses and Inspections responded to the scene, police said.

The location is right across the street from Tina's Tacos.

A backhoe was brought in to remove some of the debris around 11:30 a.m. Crews were also moved back due to the smell of gas in the area.

The cause of the collapse remained under investigation.

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