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In response to a fire at an industrial site by 61st Street and Passyunk Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health is warning residents to avoid the area or try to stay inside. The Health Department has dispatched inspectors to the area to collect air samples to assess air quality and the potential for any threat. At this time, no
specific hazardous substances have been identified, and the Department is taking this action out of caution.   

Residents in the area should take precautions to avoid unnecessary exposure to smoke. The Health Department recommends doing the following to protect yourself and your family from poor air quality:  

  • Avoid going outdoors as much as possible.  
  • If you must go outside, avoid excessive activity, such as jogging or running, and wear a
    mask, if available.  
  • Close all windows and doors to minimize air pollution in your home.  
  • Recirculate air with fans to avoid bringing more air pollution into your home.  
  • If conditions in your home are uncomfortably hot, seek air-conditioned spaces such as a library, store, or mall rather than opening windows if there is smoke in your area. 

The air may be potentially hazardous for sensitive groups, including children, older adults, pregnant people, and those with respiratory diseases or heart conditions.   

  • Avoid areas of high congestion and where air pollution may be high (e.g., main streets or
    highways, areas with low circulation).  
  • People with underlying illnesses should monitor for symptoms, including trouble breathing, nausea, and dizziness. If these symptoms occur, seek medical attention as soon as possible.  

The Health Department and the Office of Emergency Management will continue to monitor the air quality and provide updates as they become available.  


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