Famous Mummers Group Hit Hard
Update: Band props saved! Scroll down.
A 4-ALARM FIRE IN PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, destroyed a 3-story building in South Philly Monday night. The ground floor was occupied by an illegal auto body shop and the upper two floors were used by the famous Mummers group, the Fralinger String Band.
CBS / AP
The noted club is one of the premier mummers groups that puts on the annual New Year's Day parade in Philadelphia, dressed in elaborate feathered costumes while strumming dozens of banjos and accompanied by brass horns in a show unique in the world.
The fire broke out around 2 pm and brought 100 firefighters to the scene where they worked for four hours bringing it under control.
PhillyFireNews posted this raw video:
KYW-TV Ch. 3 has more details on the fire HERE.
Fralinger stored all their marching props accumulated over nearly 100 years in the old, brick industrial building, but fortunately their costumes are kept in another location. The band, which has placed first several times in recent years, still plans to march on New Year’s. Other Mummers clubs have volunteered to help replace whatever has been lost and the band is collecting donations through its website.
Update, 2 pm: From a story just posted in the Philadelphia Inquirer:
It's handshakes and hugs on Two Street, as Fralinger Street Band props emerge largely intact from the burned warehouse. "Fantastic!" says club captain Tom D'Amore.
"No damage, no damage!" excited Mummers call out as wet but salvageable props were carted from the building at Two and Wharton Streets in South Philadelphia.
This afternoon, Mummers finally re-entered the warehouse, where flames erupted Monday afternoon. Although the four-alarm fire was officially under controlled by 5 p.m. Monday, firefighters continued to douse the building with water through the night to eliminate any hotspots. There was some water and smoke damage to the club's gear, but much was saved.
Even before being allowed to enter the burnt building, the string band members had vowed to strut on New Year's Day.
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Here is a bit of Mummers history for you:
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