Neighbors watch as firefighters attempt to control a fire on Southampton Avenue on Saturday. (Photo by Jane Piotrowski)

Neighbors have raised $1,000 for displaced homeowners.

by Pete Mazzaccaro 

Early in the evening of Saturday, June30, at just around 5 p.m., Jane Piotrowski thought she smelled something strange.

I wasn’t sure what was going on,” Piotrowski said. She was in her backyard at the time. “I thought someone was burning paper.”

When she got to the front of her house, she noticed smoke billowing from the home across the street, owned by her neighbors Robert and Annette Murray.

The home, 29 W. Southampton Ave., was empty — the Murrays having recently left for a graduation party.

Some neighbors aware that two cats and a dog were still in the home tried to break in to let the animals out, Piotroski said.

But within minutes, fire trucks were on the scene and firefighters entered the home, rescuing all three animals as they battled back the flames.  According to Piotrowski, there were soon seven to eight fire trucks in total.

As of Monday afternoon, the Philadelphia Fire Department still had not made a ruling as to what had caused the fire.

Piotrowski said neighbors had raised $1,000 for the Murrays, who were staying with friends and relatives.

Piotrowski said anyone interested in helping can contact her at 215-696-4864.

This post is updated from the original on Saturday, June 30 at 6:30 p.m.

  • Risa M. Mandell

    Dear Chestnut Hill Local:

    Please consider the other-than-human animals when reporting injuries. The fate of the Murray’s companion animal is not known at the time of the report. Other-than-human animals exist in their own right, are individual persons with dignity, uniqueness and incalculable value. Like many guardians of companion animals, the Murray’s might consider their dog as a family member.

    Thank you,

    Risa M. Mandell

    • Robert Murray

      Thanks for your concern regarding our animals. They are all doing well thanks to our neighbors and the Philadelphia Fire Department. Our cats Pixie and Honey could be home today, but are being boarded until we sort out our living arrangements. Our dog Duke will be with the vet a while longer, as he took in the most smoke. As of this morning he is still improving but needs more time with at the vet hospital. he especially might not have made it without the effort and oxygen given on the scene by our local firemen. I can’t thank them enough.

      The Murrays