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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

5 years ago

On Saturday, we stayed overnight in Philly after a really lovely wedding. I’m disappointed that all their children are now married and there won’t be any more invitations.

At 3 am, we were evacuated from our hotel due to a 4-alarm fire just two doors away. The hotel was filling with smoke. It was an unbelievable experience.

The hotel employees and the emergency response teams were incredible. They found us shelter in a nearby bar (shout out to Buffalo Billiards) and then, around 7 am, moved us to the Museum of the American Revolution. They were able to provide breakfast because their scheduled breakfast event was cancelled due to the fire. The museum is across the street from the fire site.

My husband didn’t grab the car keys as we left the room so we weren’t able to leave the scene until my sister drove down with our extra set (at 11 am). The hotel still has all our belongings, no one was allowed back in, and we can’t get them until the Fire Marshall allows re-entry. The hotel is willing to ship them but we’ll probably drive back down to collect them. We’re hoping it will be today but we don’t know.

Some guests evacuated without their coats, or wallets/ID, or in shortie pajamas. I saw one couple without SHOES! I’m sure they thought it was going to be a false alarm and we’d be back in the hotel shortly. But it was the real deal.

A few guests are in a real bind. One couple leaves for NYC today and flies home to France this week. I don’t know how they’ll get their smoky smelling stuff back in time for the flight. The hotel will ship it but that’s going to be complicated and I’m sure they’re rather have it with them.

I feel badly for all the displaced residents (and pets) and the employees who will be out of work due to the fire and it’s aftermath.

When you’re in a hotel, my advice is keep all your valuables (purse, wallet, keys, jewelry, identification), a pair of shoes, your coat, and a pair of pants all together and quickly accessible.

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