PHILADELPHIA—In response to the fire on 61st Street in Southwest Philadelphia, the Health Department dispatched inspectors from the Air Management Services division to investigate any impact on the community. Inspectors have collected air samples to be tested in the Air Management Services laboratory and should have definitive results tomorrow.

In addition to those definitive results, Health Department inspectors collected air samples via mobile monitor. The air quality test results from the mobile monitor are a stopgap measurement intended to provide basic information on the presence of toxic air compounds. These results have not been through a quality assurance process and may ultimately end up being different than the results of a full analysis conducted at the laboratory. Mobile monitor samples are collected, and results released, out of an abundance of caution and should not be interpreted as definitive.

The Health Department’s monitoring has not identified any airborne toxic compounds at levels that would harm human health. Additionally, most criteria pollutants, like carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and sulphur dioxide have not been found in quantities that would be a risk to human health. It was identified that PM 2.5, or fine particulate matter, saw an increase between 12:45 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. PM 2.5 values have been dropping since that peak time.

At this time, residents can resume their normal activities in the area. However, residents in the area who are normally affected by poor air quality, like children, elderly people, people who are pregnant, and those with respiratory diseases or heart conditions should continue to be aware of the air quality in their immediate vicinity. If they are having difficulty breathing or there is visible smoke, they should avoid going outdoors, avoid excessive activity, consider wearing a mask, and close their windows.

The Health Department and the Office of Emergency Management will continue to monitor the air quality and provide updates as they become available. For more information, please visit the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management Twitter account, the Health Department’s Twitter account, and register to receive emergency alerts from via ReadyPhiladelphia by texting READYPHILA to 888-777 or visiting