Embattled Mayor W. Wilson Goode focused attention today on rebuilding the west Philadelphia community shattered this week when a police assault against a militant radical group's headquarters left 11 persons dead and 53 homes destroyed.
Goode led Housing and Urban Development Secretary Samuel R. Pierce and the state's two U.S. senators on a 15-minute walking tour of the ravaged neighborhood. Later, Pierce announced a $1 million federal grant to assist a rebuilding program estimated to cost $8 million.
Pierce, saying President Reagan is "deeply saddened by what occurred in the Osage-Pine community," also announced that rent and mortgage subsidies and federally-owned temporary homes would be made available to those whose homes had been destroyed.
"We need two things here -- care and cash," said Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), appearing with Goode and Pierce.
As a daylong rain fell, there were signs that a week of tension and contention is easing.
One came from the Philadelphia Daily News, which has been sharply at odds with Goode since Monday's tragedy. Today, the Daily News gave top front-page billing to the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team, which advanced to the Stanley Cup final series by defeating Quebec here Thursday night.
The Daily News and The Philadelphia Inquirer continued to highlight inconsistencies in accounts by Goode, Police Commissioner Gregore J. Sambor and Fire Commissioner William C. Richmond of the assault against a well-fortified row house where members of the organization known as MOVE had lived for at least three years.
The point of contention is the decision to drop a concussion bomb on a crude but sturdy rooftop bunker. The explosion resulted in a fire that spread to 60 other row houses and apparently caused the deaths of seven adults and four children in the house.
Fire officials waited more than an hour before trying to extinguish the fire, which had flared out of control.
Officials today revealed names of victims for the first time, identifying two bodies found in the house basement as those of Frank James Africa, 26, and Rhonda Harris Africa, 30.
Goode and his top aides have issued conflicting statements about why and on whose orders the fire was allowed to burn, whether police engaged armed MOVE members behind the house in a gun battle that prevented firemen from acting quickly, and whether police knew that flammable materials were in the house before the bombing.
The Inquirer reported today that, for weeks, police officials had tested explosives in preparation for a siege of MOVE headquarters and that, for more than a year, they had examined enlarged photographs of the roof.
The newspaper noted that Goode has said he learned of the device only 17 minutes before its use.
The Inquirer also reported that the explosive substance was designed primarily for underground detonation and, when exploded, produced heat ranging from 3,000 to 7,000 degrees Fahrenheit, according to its manufacturer.
Authorities continued looking through rubble near the MOVE house and said they have found most of the bodies and weapons thought to be there. Weapons include three shotguns, a rifle and two handguns. No indication of a tunnel system was found under the house, they said.
Goode declined today to answer questions about the incident, focusing instead on the HUD assistance. The federal rent subsidies are to cover 70 percent of recipients' rent, and Pierce said some residents may be eligible for mortgage subsidies.
Goode said that ground-breaking in the black middle-class community could begin as early as July, and that rebuilding may be completed by Christmas.