Woman Hurt in Lululemon Store Collapse Thanks Rescuers

One of the three women injured after bricks crashed through the roof of a popular Center City store thanked the people who saved her life.

"I wanted to extend my sincere thanks to the unknown people who helped me get out from under the rubble at Lululemon," said 27-year-old Alli Friedman in a released statement. "You are heroes who helped someone you didn't know. Thank you!"

Friedman and her two friends were inside the Lululemon Athletica store on 1527 Walnut St. Tuesday around 3:25 p.m. As they were shopping, a parapet wall on the east side of a building on 1529 Walnut St. dislodged and fell onto the store's roof. Friedman and her friends were hurt as the roof of the store partially collapsed.

"She said all of a sudden they heard rumbling and the next thing you know, she was at the bottom, buried," said Friedman's father Howard Edelman.

Friedman and her two friends were rescued by first responders and taken to Hahnemann Hospital where they were treated and later released.

"I also wanted to thank the Philadelphia Fire Department and the EMTs who transported me and my friends to the hospital," Friedman said. "Also, thanks to the emergency room staff at Hahnemann Hospital for their compassion and professional care."

Officials with Licenses and Inspections believe water infiltration as well as freezing and thawing could have caused the brick to become dislodged in the wall of the 1529 building.

"In general water infiltration combined with extreme weather conditions can result in deteriorated structures in older masonry buildings," an L&I spokesperson wrote. "Our records indicate the building at 1529 Walnut Street was built in 1926."

The owner of the 1529 building hired the Harman Group, Structural Engineers and William Proud Masonry Restoration Co. Inc to stabilize and repair the property, according to L&I.

"The Department confirmed that all loose masonry debris has been removed; the wall has been sealed and flashed to prevent any further water infiltration," the spokesperson wrote. "Tomorrow the wall will be secured using temporary steel bracing that will span along the entire length of the rooftop penthouse where the parapet partially collapsed."

After the repairs at 1529 Walnut St. are finished, the owner of Lululemon will conduct an engineering survey of the building and begin shoring and repairing the collapsed roof. L&I officials will continue to monitor repairs to both buildings.

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