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The Philadelphia Inquirer
Firefighters battled a four-alarm blaze Monday morning at a large aquatic facility in Northeast Philadelphia.
Helicopter video of the scene showed that the fire burned through the thin roof of the hangar-like structure housing the pool at theAquatic Fitness Center and Aquahab Physical Therapy.
Firefighters were called about 11:15 a.m. to the facility on Grant Avenue near Fordham Road, according to multiple reports.
One person was transported to Torresdale Hospital, according to news reports and monitors of fire radio broadcasts.
About 100 people were in the facility at the time. Work on the roof was being done when the fire broke out, 6abc reported.
The station reported that roofers were welding when the blowtorch they were using ignited the fire, and flames quickly spread."It just literally went up in a matter of two minutes," worker Kevin Kirby told the station.
Matt Littman, president and CEO of AFC Fitness, said in a statement the damage was severe and the club is closed until further notice but they committed to rebuilding.
"We're extremely fortunate that our staff and members were able to swiftly and safely evacuate during the fire at our Northeast Philadelphia location on Grant Avenue this morning," Littman stated. "Our team is working to accommodate displaced members and we're encouraging them to utilize our other locations in Feasterville, Jenkintown and Bala Cynwyd."Major fire response near Grant Avenue and Fordham Street in Northeast Philadelphia. Please avoid the area.— Philadelphia Fire (@PhillyFireDept) March 6, 2017
Footage from news helicopters showed streams of water aimed at the bubble-like structure that covered the facility's Olympic-size swimming pool.#BREAKING - Crews battle two alarm fire in Northeast Philadelphia https://t.co/pQVredlGhApic.twitter.com/YffjObnfB7— FOX 29 (@FOX29philly) March 6, 2017
Grant Avenue between Frankford Avenue and Academy Road was closed, as were some smaller streets in the immediate area of the facility, the city's Office of Emergency Management reported.
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