Philadelphia Daily News from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 5, 1978 · Page 3
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Philadelphia Daily News from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Page 3

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Monday, June 5, 1978
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Page 3
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Monday, June 5. 1978 Philadelphia Daily News 3 First Pennsylvania Bank The "Thank You" Bank By JIM NICHOLSON First Pennsylvania Bank loaned $500,000 to a U.S. senator's brother to expand a now-defunct Wilmington discotheque, even though the man and his partner had a combined net worth of less than S40.000. James B. Biden, 29, brother of Delaware Democrat Joseph Biden, and Joseph Reardon Jr. got the loan for their Seasons Change disco in 1975, when the senator was a member of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee. NOW, THE LOAN has triggered a 542,000 suit filed against the bank by a Yeadon, Delaware County, man who took over the club, and a countersuit for 5500,000 by First Pennsylvania, which is trying to force him to pay off the Biden loan. "The bank didn't want the senator's brother to be on the paper when the disco folded," says Salvatore J. Cardile, the man who sued First Pen nsyl vania. "They needed a patsy. Me." Bank officials refuse to discuss the matter, Jim Biden says he can't remember what led him to First Pennsylvania and his brother, the senator, insists he had nothing to do with the granting of the loan. From Delaware Alcohol Beverage Control Commission files, court documents, personal papers and interviews, the Daily News has at least partially pieced together the story of an unusual loan accompanied by some unusual banking and business practices. Young Biden and his partner, Reardon, decided in early 1973 to open a club. Biden said he chained a study that showed a disco on Concord Pike outside Wilmington could be successful. Only months before, Joe Biden, six years older than Jim, was elected to the Senate. Jim Biden and Reardon obtained an 580,000 loan from Continued oh Page 8 Sen. Biden 3 Children j 2 Others Perish In W. Phils. Row Home Fire By JACK McGUIRE and KITTY CAPARELLA Atop the six-foot pile of charred remains outside the gutted three-story West Philadelphia row home sat a baby carriage. It was a sad reminder that five persons, including three children, were killed in the two-alarm fire early yesterday morning. Kahtedra Star, 5, and her sister, Joy, 3, were found dead, apparently of smoke inhalation, in the second-floor rear bedroom at 3852 W. Girard Ave. An overnight visitor, Lamont Jones, 9, of Parkside Ave. near 41st, was found dead in a third-floor bedroom. Also killed were James Craig, 59, in the third-floor front bedroom, and Marian Bost, 43, in the second-floor middle bedroom. SIX OTHERS in the house escaped through a second-floor window. icfim, now 51 iller By GLORIA CAMPISI All the clues to the grim discovery were there. Norman Richardson came home from work to find the double-locked door only partially locked, the mail uncollected, his boy's school-bag in the same place it had been that morning. Then Richardson noticed the kitchen light was on, but he did not begin to realize Aaron something was wrong until his calls to his son, Aaron, 8, went unanswered. "When I noticed that the kitchen light was on, I thought he was in there maybe fixing a sandwich," Richardson, 29, said last night. But when be walked into the kitchen of his Siune. Mount Airy row-house, Richardson said, he found Aaron lying on the floor -Inside the News Amusements 24-29 Classified Comics Crossword Editorials Flair Lottery 49-63 33-34 48 18 23 49 Names in the News 2r. O'BrienonTV "J Section 2 21-34 Sylvia Porter 47 TakhYs Monday 22 Television 29-31 PubNehed dally at 400 North Broad St, Philadelphia. Pa. 19101. Second dau poatege paid at PMla. MaH eubecrlp-Hena (Zonea 1 and 2 5 par year, S8 par month. "I CALLED to him. I told him to get up. I said, 'Wake up! What's the matt-ter with you?" "I thought maybe he was playing." But the small, slight child, was not playing. He was dead, strangled his pants pocket "turned inside out" and missing the S2.50 his parents had given him before leaving for work so he could buy tickets to take his sister, Monique, 2, to a school fair the next day. "Aaron adored her," said his mother, Lora, 28, an insurance company employe. "He would sneak things to her if she wasn't allowed to have them. He was looking forward to the school fair Saturday. He wanted to take his sister." The child's father told police he found the boy's body about 4:45 p.m. Friday, when he returned from his job at a paper products plant in Camden to the family home on Temple Rd. near Wadsworth Ave. DESPITE EFFORTS to reach her, the boy's mother did not learn the shocking news until she returned home that night from a company picnic in Jersey, she said yesterday, tears welling and trickling from under her dark glasses. The medical examiner's office ruled Aaron's death due to strangulation and the Richardsons said they found a strange length of rubber, like that used to insulate windows, in the house. Continued on Page 16 jumping to the roof of the front porch and climbing to the ground before the house roof partially collapsed as the pre-dawn blaze really got going. "I walked past today. You could see clear through front to rear and up to the roof. You could see the sky. It was just a frame," said Walter Bess, a neighbor who lives five houses away. "That fire looked like it was fed with chemicals," he added. He had been awakened by the flames and shouts. "THE FLAMES were leaping all over. I knew if anyone was in there they couldn't get out. We don't have a fire hydrant on the block. The nearest one is at 39th and Cambridge (about IVi blocksaway)." The fire marshal's office is investigating the cause of the fire, which does not appear suspicious. Police said it broke out at 3:49 a.m. in the front living room, where it raged furiously, fed by the mahogany paneling on the walls. It was brought under control at 4:39 a.m. By that time, however, Vanessa Smith, 20, had been able to save only one of her three children. She carried 2-month-old Michael through the second-floor window, climbed to the porch roof and handed him to someone on the ground before climbing down herself. ALSO SURVIVING were Priscilla Johnson, 63, the house's owner and her cousin, Ophelia Smith, 46, as well as Ophelia's daughter, Vanessa, her son, Vance, 11, and a grandson, Michael. The last survivor was Johnny Jackson, 45, a friend. Ophelia Smith and Jackson were treated for smoke inhalation at Presbyterian-University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. "It was bad. I don't know how anybody got out," said a neighbor who fled into the street when she heard the sirens. "They were all out before I got there." Although nearby houses received some smoke and water damage, they were not evacuated. 5 '' K , v iW t V, m &taiMir a lAIa&a&SS k . Photography bv Harold G Kene- Firemen remove debris from home where five died

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