U.S. Senators Arlen Specter and Bob Casey held a hearing in City Hall this morning to learn about a program put in place earlier this year by the city to help people avoid losing their homes to foreclosures and sheriff's sales. The senators wrapped up after about an hour of testimony and questions and prepared to speak with reporters. Just then, City Hall's fire alarm went off and a man's recorded voice boomed instructions to evacuate the building.
Court and senate staffers hustled Specter, Casey and reporters through a side door of the sixth-floor courtroom and pointed to City Hall's southwest stairwell as the quickest escape route. But Specter had heard there was a news conference four floors below near the Mayor's office. He reversed course to City Hall's northeast stairwell, which passed by the Mayor's office. There would be no evacuation. The media was assembled, waiting for Mayor Nutter. Specter walked in, strode before the cameras and took over the room.
He and Casey spent some time speaking about the foreclosure crisis to a group of reporters who were expecting to see Nutter show off Major League Baseball's World Series trophy. The Phillies play the first home game of the series tomorrow night. [Go Phils!] Nutter showed up, surprised to join his press conference already in progress. But Specter didn't make him wait too long. "We're being evicted," he joked as some of the reporters followed him out.