Point Breeze fire ruled arson

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The raging two-alarm fire that destroyed two large townhomes under construction and damaged another Monday morning in Point Breeze was intentionally set, officials said Tuesday.


The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Philadelphia Field Division announced Tuesday that Monday’s fire was arson and are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the incident.

The fire was reported about 4:15 a.m. and quickly engulfed the new development in flames. It took about 75 firefighters about an hour to bring the fire under control. No injuries were reported.


On Monday,  developer Ori Feibush said construction crews were scheduled to break ground on the second phase of the project– 11 townhomes facing Woodstock Street, off of Wharton. The total project is expected to be 22 townhomes and will consist of three-bedroom, four-bathroom townhouses listed at $550,000 to $625,000.

For years, Feibush has been a controversial figure in Point Breeze as a result of the market-rate homes he’s been building. He has been accused of driving out long-term residents by gentrifying the area. He and his company, OCF Realty, have been subject to vandalism and harassment over the years.

Just two weeks ago, fliers were posted around Point Breeze titled “Gentrification is modern day Colonialism” and read in part: “OCF REALTY, is displacing the BLACK and BROWN people in the POINT-BREEZE and surrounding communities.” And, “Don’t be pushed out!! Stand up!! Fight back!!”





ATF officials will be looking through video surveillance in the 20th and Wharton area for any leads, ATF Special Agent Sarah O’Reilly said.  They will also be sending fire debris evidence to a lab to be examined for further clues.

Anyone with information on the arson at 20th and Wharton are asked to call the ATF 24/7 hotline at 1-888-ATF-FIRE (1-888-283-3473), email: ATFTips@atf.gov or submit a tip anonymously by using the ReportIt app on a mobile phone. 






















1 Philadelphia

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