Fire forces evacuation at Rittenhouse Hotel/Condo

A fire in a basement storage area forced the evacuation of about 100 people from the Rittenhouse Hotel and Condominium in Rittenhouse Square this morning, officials say.

The blaze was reported at 8:26 a.m. and declared under control at 9:22 a.m.

Evacuees from the posh high rise were taken to Holy Trinity Church on the square, where the Red Cross blankets, coffee, snackes and water. They were allowed to return to the Rittenhouse at 10:30 a.m.

One person was taken to Hahnemann University Hospital for treatment of minor smoke inhalation, said Capt. Richard Grymes of the Fire Department.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, he said.

"The fire dept did a phenomenal job. They responded very very quickly and took complete control of the situation,” said David Benton, general manager of the Rittenhouse Hotel.

He said the fire caused no smoke damage in other parts of the building.

This was the second evacuation of a high rise in Center City this week.

On Monday, residents of a student apartment building on the 1300 block of Chestnut Street were forced out on the street by dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

The Art Institute of Philadelphia students who live there still have not returned to their residences because the private landlord is still working to fix violations in the 12-story building.

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