Five alarm fire, York & Jasper, Buck Hosiery.

http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=8613361

Philadelphia - April 8 (WPVI) -- A five alarm fire is consuming a warehouse in Philadelphia's Kensington section.

The fire is happening near Jasper and York Streets.

Firefighters arrived on the scene just after 3:30 Monday morning, and found heavy fire showing from four floors of the warehouse.

Fire department reported hearing explosions coming from inside the building.

Embers from the blaze landed on several homes, sparking fires in those homes.

Fire officials have evacuated residents along the block of the fire and the surrounding area.

The red cross is on scene, assisiting displaced residents.

No injuries have been reported by authorities.

An Action News crew is on the scene, trying to learn more information. Watch Action News and 6abc.com for updates

(Copyright ©2012 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

Ftowntruehead's picture

More info about this building can be found here.

http://fishtown.us/content/forum/york-jasper-hiddencity

Frank Jones's picture

The weather report said today is a red flag day with low humidity and high winds - good for fires.

stein wrote:
It is nice to be so privileged that you can be oblivious to a pretty popular stereotype in the canon of racism.

Coder's picture

I feel very sorry for anyone who lives near any of those giant empty warehouses over there.
Everytime there is a major fire, its one of them. So scary for the neighbors.

Kenzo's picture

Well, that's the end of that. We tried to get the complex sealed and L&I WAS AN ABSOLUTE ABYSMAL FRACKING FAILURE.

I hope the junkies who did it burned up in the thing.

On the advice of someone who probably queened-out, this signature has been deleted.

Kenzo's picture

Coder wrote:
I feel very sorry for anyone who lives near any of those giant empty warehouses over there.
Everytime there is a major fire, its one of them. So scary for the neighbors.

There's 2 businesses that share a party wall with the hosiery complex, another warehouse that's active across the street and at least 9 houses around the corner. It's not as dead an area as it seems.

On the advice of someone who probably queened-out, this signature has been deleted.

Leo's picture

Kenzo wrote:
Well, that's the end of that. We tried to get the complex sealed and L&I WAS AN ABSOLUTE ABYSMAL FRACKING FAILURE.

I hope the junkies who did it burned up in the thing.

Maybe make the point by copy pasting our old complaints into new L&I complaints, noting that IT IS ON FIRE NOW.

My first thought was that it had been torched for insurance, but it seems more likely that it was a junkie.

Hidden City, March 30, 2012 Article wrote:
Three years later and the building has scarcely been touched, continuing to suffer from increasing dilapidation and chronic break-ins. [Jeff] Carpineta fears that arson might claim the building, like similar structures that have burned in recent years.

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camera215's picture

I live at Cumberland and Amber, and the fire was bad enough to shower ashes all over my house and yard. It was pretty scary. I woke up at about 4 to the smell of smoke and sound of explosions and thought our block was on fire. I hope everyone near and on Jasper is ok.

Kenzo's picture

Here's my investigation I did on the Liechtensteins (YML Realty who owns the complex plus a bunch of blighted houses and some condos) months ago:
http://bit.ly/I95rqk

They are currently sitting awaiting a Common Pleas case right now over the Thomas Lofts in Center City at 8th and Market due to bank foreclosure.

Leo is there any way an amicus brief can be filed on a Common Pleas civil action to let the judge handling it know how horrible these owners have become?

On the advice of someone who probably queened-out, this signature has been deleted.

dmandy's picture

Channel six just announced that 2 firefighters were killed at this fire.

Leo's picture

Letter campaign to L&I and the Lichtensteins?

Edit: Just saw that two FF died. All because L&I and the Lichtensteins couldn't be bothered.

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camera215's picture

dmandy wrote:
Channel six just announced that 2 firefighters were killed at this fire.

I just heard this too. It's absolutely heartbreaking. I don't know if junkies set the fire, but I wouldn't be surprised. I realize I'm jumping to conclusions, but it makes me enraged.

Kat's picture

This is shameful.

bostongirl's picture

How unfortunate. All of those sirens woke me up this morning. It sounded really serious. Thoughts are with the families of the firemen that lost their lives.

AmyPaxton's picture

This is an awful shame all around. I have a bunch of pictures I took of this building a few weeks ago. It was beautiful. So sorry for the firefighters that lost their lives and their families and friends. Tragic.

Jordan's picture

AmyPaxton wrote:
This is an awful shame all around. I have a bunch of pictures I took of this building a few weeks ago. It was beautiful. So sorry for the firefighters that lost their lives and their families and friends. Tragic.

Amy, would you mind emailing me the photos?

. I'm putting together a piece for Philly Law Blog.

A. Jordan Rushie
Fishtown Neighbors Association - President
2424 East York Street, Suite 316
Philadelphia, PA 19125 215.385.LAW1 (5291)
Blog: www.phillylawblog.com
Website: www.fishtownlaw.com

AmyPaxton's picture

Jordan wrote:
AmyPaxton wrote:
This is an awful shame all around. I have a bunch of pictures I took of this building a few weeks ago. It was beautiful. So sorry for the firefighters that lost their lives and their families and friends. Tragic.

Amy, would you mind emailing me the photos?

. I'm putting together a piece for Philly Law Blog.

sure - on the way.

Jordan's picture

AmyPaxton wrote:
Jordan wrote:
AmyPaxton wrote:
This is an awful shame all around. I have a bunch of pictures I took of this building a few weeks ago. It was beautiful. So sorry for the firefighters that lost their lives and their families and friends. Tragic.

Amy, would you mind emailing me the photos?

. I'm putting together a piece for Philly Law Blog.

sure - on the way.

Cool, thanks!

A. Jordan Rushie
Fishtown Neighbors Association - President
2424 East York Street, Suite 316
Philadelphia, PA 19125 215.385.LAW1 (5291)
Blog: www.phillylawblog.com
Website: www.fishtownlaw.com

jbette01's picture

Heartbreaking photos of firefighters mourning their lost: http://phillyrover.posterous.com/photo-philadelphia-fire-fighters-injured-in-5

If anyone knows who I should contact regarding the service for these guys (or if you have information), please let me know. I would like to make sure that FNA is represented.

I am just absolutely so sick over this. An utter failure by the city results in the loss of two heroes. Rest in Peace.

Coder's picture

Please post when names are released.

Is anyone giving the press the backstory on this tragedy?

Neilpuck's picture

Coder wrote:
Please post when names are released.

Is anyone giving the press the backstory on this tragedy?

I have no doubt that Kenzo is on that right now. L&I is in for a huge backlash on this and possibly lawsuits from those affected. The quote that Leo posted from Jeff Carpineta is somewhat chilling in its prescience.

Leo's picture

Neilpuck wrote:
Coder wrote:
Please post when names are released.

Is anyone giving the press the backstory on this tragedy?

I have no doubt that Kenzo is on that right now. L&I is in for a huge backlash on this and possibly lawsuits from those affected. The quote that Leo posted from Jeff Carpineta is somewhat chilling in its prescience.

First thing I did when I woke up was send a tweet to Mayor Nutter, though that's likely not going to be terribly effective.

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215.385.5291

Lauraska's picture

Wow...two firefighters died? This is awful. I'm totally up for whatever publicity maneuvers people want to take to make it known far and wide that L&I and Lichtenstein are responsible for the deaths of those two guys.

This is my passive aggressive signature. Yeah it's about you.

dan

We absolutely MUST see the news media gets a hold of the backstory on this -
especially the marking of complaints as "unfounded" with what appears to be no investigation.

I'm even going to dive into the depths of the corrupted Fishtown.US database to see if I can find the relevant posts.

This signature is not passive aggressive. Just ignore it if it doesn't apply to you.

jbette01's picture

dan wrote:
We absolutely MUST see the news media gets a hold of the backstory on this -
especially the marking of complaints as "unfounded" with what appears to be no investigation.

I'm even going to dive into the depths of the corrupted Fishtown.US database to see if I can find the relevant posts.

Thank you Dan.

dan

Well, big fail on database retrieval. The relevant tables aren't just broken, the files are lost. Sigh.

This signature is not passive aggressive. Just ignore it if it doesn't apply to you.

sdm's picture

Complaints on a message board carry no real weight. Find the people who sent emails and get copies of those initial complaints and the responses.

"I'd trade it all for a little more."

new kenzo's picture

I was rushing to the el last week almost late for work when I saw a homeless guy blatantly banging his shopping cart at the doorway trying to squeeze it in. He was being very open about breaking in during a bright sunny day. I figured if I called the cops, I'd be a waste of time.

"vinegar of lil richard ninja" , yo

dan

sdm wrote:
Complaints on a message board carry no real weight. Find the people who sent emails and get copies of those initial complaints and the responses.

Absolutely. I was looking for that thread because many people documented on here what they had done.
Unfortunately, the Internet Wayback Machine last crawled the site in July of last year, so there's no record there.

This signature is not passive aggressive. Just ignore it if it doesn't apply to you.

Kenzo's picture

On the advice of someone who probably queened-out, this signature has been deleted.

lighterthief's picture

Red flags red flags and more red flags were raised on this. Recent history made the risk of this all too evident. The fact that the lives of firefighters were lost in such a preventable tragedy is unconscionable. Nothing will make amends to their families friends and loved ones for their loss but our community must come together to honor them and their service and help bring those responsible to justice. IMO this is not an accident. It is a crime. The owners knew well the risk keeping the building in such conditions posed and the complaints about the building are well documented. The failure on the part of l&I to protect the citizens and first responders of this city is also completely unacceptable.

Hopefully these lost lives will not totally be in vein. The owners and the non-actors at the city level need to be exposed and policy and procedure need to change

The families of the firefighters should file civil suits against the owners taking them for everything they have or ever will have

The owners should be charged criminally for their negligence

heads should roll at L&I

Our community should speak out and speak up on this and do what we can to honor the lives lost and make their story heard.

Empty factories to the east and all our waste
The shape of things that came shows on the broken workers face

dan

The URL was: http://fishtown.us/node/20130
if you can, please check your cache on the slight chance it's still in there!

This signature is not passive aggressive. Just ignore it if it doesn't apply to you.

Kenzo's picture

Coder wrote:
Please post when names are released.

Is anyone giving the press the backstory on this tragedy?

Since this morning Ryan Brigg's article covering the Lichtensteins and also my investigation Google Docs spreadsheet have been busy with eyeballs.

There are a LOT of people at the City reading both of them right now.

I posted both items to Rep. Taylor's Facebook page. The City is not going to get away with dismissing this fire without admitting they failed to seal the property which would have prevented this tragedy.

L&I ignored our 3-1-1 complaints because they said it would have cost $20K to reseal the perimeter of the property... well now the costs to Philadelphia taxpayers are going to be at least one million and two families that have lost their loved ones.

I am BOILING with rage right now.

On the advice of someone who probably queened-out, this signature has been deleted.

Leo's picture

I am seething trying to find some way to hold these owners responsible. Though I don't believe that there's an opportunity to do anything approaching an amicus to Philly CCP, I'm interested in exploring options.

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new kenzo's picture

Not to discourage, I suspect that even with a scandal, this will all go away quite quickly and be forgotten in a month if not sooner.

"vinegar of lil richard ninja" , yo

Cutter's picture

I drove to work this morning. As I was heading towards York on Memphis, a lady books it from Letterly and darn near t-boned me, zips ahead and then slammed the brakes at York. She was asking some people at the bus stop something and as I approached, I saw a visibly distraught face in her driver side mirror. After a minute, she floors it up York. I didn't know what was going on, thought she was just nuts. Then I just learned of the fire when I arrived at work.

Lauraska's picture

Leo, if I can help with research, writing, whatever, let me know! It's been a while since I did any of this stuff, but I'm ready to dust off the old JD and cause some havoc over this one.

This is my passive aggressive signature. Yeah it's about you.

TLP's picture

Quote:
"With deep regret," Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers has disclosed the names of two Philadelphia firefighters who perished this morning battling a fire in a furniture store that spread from a raging five-alarm blaze that leveled an aging Kensington warehouse.

They were Lt. Robert Neary, 60, and firefighter Daniel Sweeney, both from Ladder 10.

Neary was hoping to retire soon, and Sweeney was the son of a recently retired fire captain, according to Ladder 10 colleagues.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20120409_5-alarm_fire_destroys_warehouse__firefighter_hurt.html

Terrible doesn't even begin to describe this.

Lauraska's picture

TLP wrote:
Quote:
"With deep regret," Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers has disclosed the names of two Philadelphia firefighters who perished this morning battling a fire in a furniture store that spread from a raging five-alarm blaze that leveled an aging Kensington warehouse.

They were Lt. Robert Neary, 60, and firefighter Daniel Sweeney, both from Ladder 10.

Neary was hoping to retire soon, and Sweeney was the son of a recently retired fire captain, according to Ladder 10 colleagues.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20120409_5-alarm_fire_destroys_warehouse__firefighter_hurt.html

Terrible doesn't even begin to describe this.

The photos in this article, especially those of the warehouse on fire, show just how awful this situation was. There are no words...

This is my passive aggressive signature. Yeah it's about you.

Pure_Fishtown's picture

Prayers to the families and friends of the fallen firefighters and to the ones taken to the hospital. :(

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

Coder's picture

Five guys all from Ladder 10, right there on Kensington Ave.

bostongirl's picture

Those photos are pretty incredible. I was in shock looking at them.

Pure_Fishtown's picture

Ladder 10 has a FB page, if you want to express your condolences and thanks for the hard work these men and women do for us every day; please visit.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Engine-7-Ladder-10-BN10-M-2/167984816583168

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

Kenzo's picture

I posted my condolences.

If anybody knows the families if either Lt. Neary or FF Sweeny, someone please let them know about the information and the 3-1-1 complaints that we sent up about this place. This could prove materially helpful to these families getting compensation for their loss.

On the advice of someone who probably queened-out, this signature has been deleted.

Pure_Fishtown's picture

Kenzo wrote:
I posted my condolences.

If anybody knows the families if either Lt. Neary or FF Sweeny, someone please let them know about the information and the 3-1-1 complaints that we sent up about this place. This could prove materially helpful to these families getting compensation for their loss.

With all due respect, Kenzo, not now. These families are going through too much to be able to absorb this. Hopefully, the media will bring it to the forefront for future use.

BTW EVERYONE, I just heard from the wife of a Philly Firefighters that one of the three injured is in very bad shape. Prayers please.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

sdm's picture

Live press conference in about a minute on philly.com & myfoxphilly

"I'd trade it all for a little more."

Susan's picture

I think now would be a good time to raise awareness with the news media regarding this totally preventable tragedy. The wives of these men appreciate our support. They are even less thrilled with the city than you kenso. What can we do to raise heck about this homicide by willful neglect?

austen's picture

Another update later today addressing L&I @ 4PM.

Lauraska's picture

Yes, supposedly the 4 pm update is going to talk about the investigations they've had going on for two years with this building. Two years? Really? Can't wait to hear this.

This is my passive aggressive signature. Yeah it's about you.

austen's picture

I am speechless. This woman is staight up lying. Active ownership?

Lauraska's picture

Yeah, the excuses going around that table are STAGGERING.

This is my passive aggressive signature. Yeah it's about you.

sdm's picture

I had to turn it off to do actual work. Heard they've just switched into outright lies now?

"I'd trade it all for a little more."

austen's picture

sdm wrote:
I had to turn it off to do actual work. Heard they've just switched into outright lies now?

Pretty much. It's sickening.

Kenzo's picture

City staffers are passing around my Google Docs spreadsheet LIKE CRAZY.

I added some cells on the first page giving them my response:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AvfZUyLKR4I5dFBSMVJJUHNpOXRWTlNWbFU2WE9GQWc#gid=6

On the advice of someone who probably queened-out, this signature has been deleted.

Lauraska's picture

I had to stop listening to the press conference because I was getting so angry at all of the lies. It's pretty disgusting that they can sit there and say, "wasn't me" when two men are dead and a historical property in this neighborhood is in ruins. This is such crap.

I'm trying to channel my anger into doing something nice for Ladder 10 to show them that the community appreciates their hard work and sacrifice. It's hard to stay positive after that #$%&show, though.

This is my passive aggressive signature. Yeah it's about you.

Pure_Fishtown's picture

Is there anyone creative enough to take the pic that is floating through facebook and make it at least 8-1/2 x 11? It is a picture of a Philly firefighter badge with the black mourning ribbon. I would hang it in my window and ask stores that I frequent to put it up.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

lighterthief's picture

I hope that those in the neighborhood who were active in trying to get this building addressed before this tragedy happened will be able to refute these lies. I know there has to be documentation of complaints to L&I, who responded and how as well as violations issued to the building owner. There has to be a paper trail here.

Empty factories to the east and all our waste
The shape of things that came shows on the broken workers face

Leo's picture

Here's the SeeClickFix that was opened.

Structure not secured. Dangerous conditions - Kensington, Philadelphia, PA, Philadelphia - Issue #136238 - SeeClickFix

Their response?

Philly 311 wrote:

This was already reported to Licenses and Inspections. L & I will cite the owner for the violations. If not complied at last inspection, property will be referred to court for a judgment demanding the owner to resolve the problems. In a rare case where the owner has been removed from the property by city agencies, coordinated efforts will be made to correct the outstanding violations.
All emergency calls regarding a building in a current state of collapse should be forwarded to 911.
Thank you. (mb)

Issue Closed
Information submitted. (mb)

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Jordan's picture

dan wrote:
We absolutely MUST see the news media gets a hold of the backstory on this -
especially the marking of complaints as "unfounded" with what appears to be no investigation.

I'm even going to dive into the depths of the corrupted Fishtown.US database to see if I can find the relevant posts.

Philly Law Blog has your back. I've got some media connections, too.

A. Jordan Rushie
Fishtown Neighbors Association - President
2424 East York Street, Suite 316
Philadelphia, PA 19125 215.385.LAW1 (5291)
Blog: www.phillylawblog.com
Website: www.fishtownlaw.com

dan

Does anybody have the email address that responses to online 311 complaints were sent from?
I'm trying to search to find mine, and am striking out.

(It was simply an email that acknowledged my online 311 complaint, but had a complaint number were I could go to the 311 website and find their response - namely the marking of the complaint as "unfounded".)

This signature is not passive aggressive. Just ignore it if it doesn't apply to you.

ihatesidewalkparkers's picture

Where can one view the press conference?

lighterthief's picture

That was my See Click Fix post relaying Kenzo's ( i think) initial write up

it got the "standard response" that everything gets

sad & infuriating

Empty factories to the east and all our waste
The shape of things that came shows on the broken workers face

Leo's picture

dan wrote:
Does anybody have the email address that responses to online 311 complaints were sent from?
I'm trying to search to find mine, and am striking out.

(It was simply an email that acknowledged my online 311 complaint, but had a complaint number were I could go to the 311 website and find their response - namely the marking of the complaint as "unfounded".)

Yes.

Monique wrote:


2011-10-31

to Leo
Good afternoon,

It was reported to License & Inspections today, please allow up to 15 business days for inspection.

Monique
311 Contact center

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lighterthief's picture

Quote:
“If you want to invest something productive, like bring money or help in development that would be greatly appreciated. If you want to just ask questions, then buzz off,” he said, before hanging up.

I really hope this statement comes back to haunt the man again and again. Would he like to tell the families of the victims to "buzz off" now because that is pretty much what he did.

Empty factories to the east and all our waste
The shape of things that came shows on the broken workers face

Kenzo's picture

lighterthief wrote:
Quote:
“If you want to invest something productive, like bring money or help in development that would be greatly appreciated. If you want to just ask questions, then buzz off,” he said, before hanging up.

I really hope this statement comes back to haunt the man again and again. Would he like to tell the families of the victims to "buzz off" now because that is pretty much what he did.

There was interest from a couple of news agencies in sending crews to Brooklyn this morning to try to put a camera in their faces. They certainly deserve to have that happen to them.

On the advice of someone who probably queened-out, this signature has been deleted.

Leo's picture

lighterthief wrote:
Quote:
“If you want to invest something productive, like bring money or help in development that would be greatly appreciated. If you want to just ask questions, then buzz off,” he said, before hanging up.

I really hope this statement comes back to haunt the man again and again. Would he like to tell the families of the victims to "buzz off" now because that is pretty much what he did.

If I had to try this case to a jury, I'd blow up his words on a big screen juxtaposed with photos of the fire and the grieving firefighters on the scene. This guy is trash and needs to be taken out.

I want this dismissive attitude to more than haunt him. I wonder how his much is phone is ringing today.

Mulvihill & Rushie LLC
The Fishtown Lawyers
Criminal Defense | Trial Lawyer
FishtownLaw.com
215.385.5291

dan

Thanks, Leo.
Here's the email I got:

Quote:
Dear Mr. Roth:

Thank you for contacting The City of Philadelphia's 311 Contact Center.

A service request (1958695) has been submitted to License & Inspections. Please allow up to 15 business days for inspection.

You can follow this request online at www.phila.gov/311

Again, thank you for contacting us regarding this issue. Please let us know if you have any further questions.

Sincerely,

Monique
Philly 311 Contact Center

And here's what the website said when I looked up the service request number:

Quote:
Service Request #1958695
Department Licenses and Inspections
Type of Inquiry Building Dangerous Vacant
Status Completed
Resolution
ACTION DT ACTION TYPE
01-NOV-11 UNFOUNDED :SERVICE REQUEST COMPLETED

This signature is not passive aggressive. Just ignore it if it doesn't apply to you.

Lauraska's picture

I hate to say it, but having met this guy and knowing where he's coming from, I doubt he's very affected by the death of these two men at all. I think the only way to make him sorry is to hit him somewhere that counts to him - his wallet.

This is my passive aggressive signature. Yeah it's about you.

Neilpuck's picture

lighterthief wrote:
Quote:
“If you want to invest something productive, like bring money or help in development that would be greatly appreciated. If you want to just ask questions, then buzz off,” he said, before hanging up.

I really hope this statement comes back to haunt the man again and again. Would he like to tell the families of the victims to "buzz off" now because that is pretty much what he did.

Where is this quote from? Is there a larger set of text from which it was taken?

Ftowntruehead's picture

At the bottom of the page Philly Fire News posted 35 pictures from the fire. They also have 19 minutes of the fire radio communication posted for listening.

http://www.pafirenews.net/content/firewire/detail/6703.php

JedicusMaximus's picture

Neilpuck wrote:
lighterthief wrote:
Quote:
“If you want to invest something productive, like bring money or help in development that would be greatly appreciated. If you want to just ask questions, then buzz off,” he said, before hanging up.

I really hope this statement comes back to haunt the man again and again. Would he like to tell the families of the victims to "buzz off" now because that is pretty much what he did.

Where is this quote from? Is there a larger set of text from which it was taken?

http://hiddencityphila.org/2012/03/passing-the-buck/

10011101

Ftowntruehead's picture

Neilpuck wrote:
Where is this quote from? Is there a larger set of text from which it was taken?

Neil the quote is taken from a piece Hiddencityphila did a few weeks ago. A link to the Hiddencityphila article is below.

http://hiddencityphila.org/2012/03/passing-the-buck/

lighterthief's picture

Lauraska wrote:
I hate to say it, but having met this guy and knowing where he's coming from, I doubt he's very affected by the death of these two men at all. I think the only way to make him sorry is to hit him somewhere that counts to him - his wallet.

when I said "haunt" him i was not really thinking emotionally - I agree with you he does not likely care... i meant become a big PITA and that he gets asked a whole lot more questions than he ever imagined

Empty factories to the east and all our waste
The shape of things that came shows on the broken workers face

Pure_Fishtown's picture

Lauraska wrote:
I hate to say it, but having met this guy and knowing where he's coming from, I doubt he's very affected by the death of these two men at all. I think the only way to make him sorry is to hit him somewhere that counts to him - his wallet.

Laura, we don't usually agree but you are right. This guy has no heart or conscience. I hope he and his family suffers both physically and mentally. May their souls rot in hell.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

Coder's picture

Let me just take this moment, and thank you folks, all of you, for being such great additions to the hood.

austen's picture
Lauraska's picture

Just started listening to the conference. Did I miss anything?

This is my passive aggressive signature. Yeah it's about you.

austen's picture

The only person at this news conference that understands the seriousness and solemnity of the City & L&I's lack of response is the big guy in the red tie. He was choking back tears trying to speak.

All of the others are dancing around it, saying they were following process/protocol.

Why is no one bringing up the 311 tickets marked as UNFOUNDED? How do we get that information into media hands?

sdm's picture

Just rode my bike over there. They are still putting water on the fire, and breathing the air even two blocks away on Emerald was nasty.

"I'd trade it all for a little more."

Kenzo's picture

L&I SHOULD HAVE DONE A SEAL JOB WITHIN A MONTH AFTER THE VIOLATION NOTICES WERE GIVEN OUT. THEY COULD HAVE DONE THIS WAY BACK IN DECEMBER.

I DO NOT BELIEVE THE CACA THAT FRAN IS GIVING OUT. DO YOU THINK L&I IS DOING ENOUGH? GO LOOK AT YORK AND JASPER RIGHT NOW AND LOOK AT THE SUCCESS.

On the advice of someone who probably queened-out, this signature has been deleted.

Lauraska's picture

The live feed just pooped out on me. Anyone else?

This is my passive aggressive signature. Yeah it's about you.

JedicusMaximus's picture

It just died for me too. Refreshing the page doesn't seem to help either.

10011101

austen's picture

Holy kamoly. They did NOT work with the community. What the frack is going on?

Lauraska's picture

This is BS! Regardless of the legal process, they should have SEALED THE PROPERTY!!!!

This is my passive aggressive signature. Yeah it's about you.

CrustyZombie's picture

I can't believe how they are dancing around the issue that this building has been well documented for being a danger to the neighborhood!

jbette01's picture

Can someone please send me the links to the press conferences that were held today? If not, the transcripts please. I need to discuss it with the board, but I am seriously considering a letter to the editor/press release/media alert, etc.

Kenzo, I am out of town until Wednesday. Please keep me in on email loops (BCCd if necessary) if you think its appropriate.

My heart is absolutely breaking, but I will refuse to stand by and let the city get a pass on this.

CrustyZombie's picture

I saw most of the news conference, but was anyone able to record it? possibly post it on youtube?

Leo's picture

I caught the beginning only. Would appreciate seeing the whole thing.

Mulvihill & Rushie LLC
The Fishtown Lawyers
Criminal Defense | Trial Lawyer
FishtownLaw.com
215.385.5291

Pure_Fishtown's picture

Here's the earlier one: http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=8613361

Still waiting for the afternoon one.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

CrustyZombie's picture

thanks, Pure_Fishtown

jbette01's picture

CrustyZombie wrote:
I saw most of the news conference, but was anyone able to record it? possibly post it on youtube?

I just got a call from a friend who has it DVR. He is going to try to move it onto youtube. I'll post as soon as I know more.

Kenzo's picture

Please try to get it on YouTube.

One media person did ask Fran the correct question... "did L&I have the authority to seal the property?"

Fran admitted that she did right as her eyebrows furrowed at the question.

On the advice of someone who probably queened-out, this signature has been deleted.

dan

http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/homepage-feature/item/36691-warehouse-in-fatal-philadelphia-fire-had-history-of-complaints&Itemid=1

"Mayor Nutter's Chief of Staff Everett Gillison says neighbors had complained about the property. City officials were in contact with the building owner trying to make sure it was properly sealed so that squatters couldn't get in."

YMMV.

This signature is not passive aggressive. Just ignore it if it doesn't apply to you.

Susan's picture

I second that Coder. All youz guys are great additions to the 'hood.

DTMFA's picture

"Philadelphia officials say an unoccupied warehouse had been cited several times and the city was preparing to take the property owner to court before a massive blaze that killed two firefighters.

Everett Gillison, deputy mayor for public safety, said officials will talk to the district attorney about whether a criminal negligence prosecution is warranted."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20120409/us-philadelphia-fire/

Jay's picture

Here's the video I shot from my TV. Sorry about the quality, it was the best I could do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_ELaAxZRik

lighterthief's picture

glad to see talk of criminal charges, I know it's a longshot but I would love to see the owners and the esteemed Mrs Burns hit with Homicide, that's what it was

Empty factories to the east and all our waste
The shape of things that came shows on the broken workers face

lighterthief's picture

Jay wrote:
Here's the video I shot from my TV. Sorry about the quality, it was the best I could do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_ELaAxZRik

thank you

what i am hearing is alot of BS, the building was an imminent threat to public welfare not a nuisance. 311 complaints and actual visual confirmation made this clear. Not an isolated structure but surrounded by homes and businesses. No excuse for a long drawn out process of paper pushing.

Empty factories to the east and all our waste
The shape of things that came shows on the broken workers face

austen's picture

2014 York on Fox 29 and Kenzo's doc just on screen via Bruce Gordon. Keep on the paper trails.

austen's picture

Excellent job Kenzo.

TLP's picture

Nice work with Cuellar, Kenzo. I hope it was clear to people watching that L&I could have absolutely used their authority to seal the building and drop a lien on the owner.

I think one of the many disappointing things about how the City has handled this is just their ignorance that such a big building needs to be a major priority for L&I. This wasn't just a beat up rowhome that they can let linger. We know that the City will act decisively to seal a building when they decide it's a priority: http://articles.philly.com/2012-03-24/news/31234174_1_graffiti-vandals-building-fire-department

2014 york's picture

Wow, what a day. I didn't have power all day so I couldn't provide any comment. Haven't seen any news coverage either.

Let me add a little. I'm not sure what FOX aired from my interview so forgive me if any of this is repetitive. Over the past month I've been battling homeless guys with keeping the property secure. I've repaired the fence on numerous occasions to no avail. There was a homeless guy that moved into the facility about a month go. He's been scrapping what little was left. He was living in the basement on the Boston St. side of the building. He had a fire ring in the old boiler room but I didn't see any others in the area where he was sleeping. I assume that he is responsible for the fire and it's possible he died as well. I mentioned this in the interview and to the firefighters on the scene.

I can't add much more to the overall story that hasn't been said. I don't know where to place blame because there are so many people who failed. One that I would like to see, at a minimum, fired is Mike
Franklin. He is the L&I inspector for the area and is a complete . I had a brief conversation with Maria Sanchez about him this evening and plan a follow up with her this week. He's the same inspector who wrote the sewage on York as unfounded and another report of a home on Susquehanna that is in eminent danger of collapse. Unfounded is his M O. If he's not doing his job then the whole system fails. He deserves much more than getting fired but I seriously doubt that it will go that far.

I can't help feeling that I didn't do enough to prevent this. I keep thinking that if I had called about the homeless guy setting fires that maybe someone would have responded.

Coder's picture

You've done more than could be expected. There is absolutely no reason for you to feel guilty.

Lauraska's picture

2014 York, I'm with Coder on this one. Don't feel guilty AT all. I'm just glad to see that you and your home are ok. You did more than most neighbors do!!

This is my passive aggressive signature. Yeah it's about you.

Matt Benatar's picture

I would like to see L&I improve their bureaucratic process. Suing them will just screw up the budget, with nothing gained. Based on the press conference (that woman seemed nervous!), L&I seems to have a bit of a paper trail showing negligence from the property owner, so I think he is going to really fry for this, as he should.
The property owner wants to sit on a dangerous property while the area grows in value, not because of his building, but despite it, then sell it. He wants have everything to gain and nothing to lose. It's not an okay model. He's a deadbeat, and there needs to be a culture change among landlords like that to combat some real plight that only gets these long distance jerks richer while they dodge taxes and dodge necessary safety improvements. I wonder if he has an LLC, and if so, how much he'll be protected.
L&I sucked, but let's look who's really at fault: the property owner.

Kenzo's picture

They both share 100% of the fault. L&I and long-time City culture make it profitable to property squat. There are ZERO sunk costs in private property owners buying parcels and then doing nothing. They can accrue fines out the wazoo, they expect the buyer, someday to pay them all... eventually.

No, if you force the owners to eat those sunk costs, they'll give their properties up MUCH quicker.

This is not anything new. Sam Rappaport, who was the greatest slumlord of Center City, thrived on this model (and became a multimillionaire), while destroying numerous Center City landmarks.

The City of Philadelphia tolerated him too... until one of his garages had a wall collapse and killed a municipal court judge.

On the advice of someone who probably queened-out, this signature has been deleted.

lighterthief's picture

Stan you and a in the neighborhood who kept dogging on this issue did more and it is partly the fact that the flags were raised that the officials who should have done something are doing the dance now. It is all of you who make me proud of my neighborhood and disappointed in my city

Nutter was on the news this morning dancing the issue continuing to hide behind "we have to follow process and give notification" the anchors laid into him pretty good. It's a pretty hollow argument when the unanswered complaints track back a year and the threat was clearly imminent. This is another case of neighbors and civic groups who are constantly told need to take responsibility playing Cassandra to the deaf ears of city bureaucracy .

The city does have broad powers to demolish or seal dangerous structures. Taking ownership is and should be more complicated.

They demolished 1/3 of the old Orinoka Mill at Ruth and Somerset last year because it was dangerous even though the building was in the middle of litigation. The City does have NTI money left (10s of millions I believe) for dealing with dangerous structures but I don't think it is allocated to our neighborhood

Empty factories to the east and all our waste
The shape of things that came shows on the broken workers face

Scrambler's picture

About Mike Franklin, L+I inspector.
I have met and dealt briefly with him concerning a minor matter. He struck me as a decent and reasonable guy.
I doubt it was really in his power to prevent this tragedy. He did not strike me as jaded, and just going through the motions to keep his job until he retires. Remember, he has to deal every day with the L+I and city hall culture every day. That can break even the best of people.
I think the blame should be put higher up in L+I, and the politicians.

Coder's picture

The problem is systemic.
Kill the head and the body will die.

2014 york's picture

Scrambler wrote:
About Mike Franklin, L+I inspector.
I have met and dealt briefly with him concerning a minor matter. He struck me as a decent and reasonable guy.
I doubt it was really in his power to prevent this tragedy. He did not strike me as jaded, and just going through the motions to keep his job until he retires. Remember, he has to deal every day with the L+I and city hall culture every day. That can break even the best of people.I think the blame should be put higher up in L+I, and the politicians.

I've met him as well. His attitude was that these problems exist all over the city so don't expect anything to happen. If that's his thinking then nothing will. He writes unfounded on reports and the issue dies. Case closed until the problem becomes a disaster. I do not accept this. I agree that the problems are systemic and if he's being told to ignore problems then the fault does go up the chain. If he's negligent then the buck stops with him. I won't blame his superiors if they are being told there is no problem.

Pure_Fishtown's picture

2014, I wanted to write something to you earlier but got sidetracked. I'm glad you and your home are okay and I am very glad that you and other newer neighbors have come to the Fishtown, East Kensington and Richmond area. Many of you have done good things for the area.

Your guilt is so misplaced, you don't have any reason to feel guilt; you have gone over and beyond what any other person would have done regarding this property. You, single handedly, tried to keep the property secure; that is more than what is expected of any citizen.

You deserve kudos for being a good citizen and I pray that you can release your burden of guilt.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

Kat's picture

2014 york wrote:
Scrambler wrote:
About Mike Franklin, L+I inspector.
I have met and dealt briefly with him concerning a minor matter. He struck me as a decent and reasonable guy.
I doubt it was really in his power to prevent this tragedy. He did not strike me as jaded, and just going through the motions to keep his job until he retires. Remember, he has to deal every day with the L+I and city hall culture every day. That can break even the best of people.I think the blame should be put higher up in L+I, and the politicians.

I've met him as well. His attitude was that these problems exist all over the city so don't expect anything to happen. If that's his thinking then nothing will. He writes unfounded on reports and the issue dies. Case closed until the problem becomes a disaster. I do not accept this. I agree that the problems are systemic and if he's being told to ignore problems then the fault does go up the chain. If he's negligent then the buck stops with him. I won't blame his superiors if they are being told there is no problem.

I absolutely agree.

Kenzo's picture

I found an active mortgage on the York property.

Does anybody have any idea who Toby Moskowitz is?

52112552 DEED 08/31/2009 YML REALTY INCORPORATED
YORK STREET PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT

House # 1817 Ext 41 Direction E Street Name YORK Designation ST 019N15-0156
52328385 ASSIGNMENT OF MORTGAGE 03/22/2011 RHODES DANIEL
MOSKOWITZ TOBY
House # 1817 Ext 41 Direction E Street Name YORK Designation ST

On the advice of someone who probably queened-out, this signature has been deleted.

2014 york's picture

I'd like to see an ordinance passed requiring all large industrial buildings be inspected to assess fire danger. Any that pose a threat should be required to have adequate fire suppression systems. The cost would be borne by the Property owner, of course. If the property owner fails to address the issue or the property is abandoned, then the building will be either demolished or sold at sheriff sale. I'm sure the city could find some State and Federal funding. The cost of dealing with them burning one at a time is significantly greater than dealing with them beforehand. It would also create hundreds of jobs for several years.

2014 york's picture

Kenzo wrote:
I found an active mortgage on the York property.

Does anybody have any idea who Toby Moskowitz is?

52112552 DEED 08/31/2009 YML REALTY INCORPORATED
YORK STREET PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT

House # 1817 Ext 41 Direction E Street Name YORK Designation ST 019N15-0156
52328385 ASSIGNMENT OF MORTGAGE 03/22/2011 RHODES DANIEL
MOSKOWITZ TOBY
House # 1817 Ext 41 Direction E Street Name YORK Designation ST

Dan Rhodes was the previous owner. Have no idea who Moskowitz is.

lstriar's picture

The cost of doing this is beyond the capacity for the private market to bear in most of this city. The reason so many sit vacant (though not all) is because the market just isn't there for a rehab, or even for a takedown (and all associated environmental remediation) + new development.

Now the city could make it a priority to fund this activity to prevent fires, or at least to do a survey of all abandoned industrial buildings over a certain size, to determine which ones were most at risk of creating a fire or other hazard. However, this would not be cheap, and the funding has to come from somewhere, and where the buildings are private property, lots of people around this country have gone to great lengths to make it not so easy for the government to acquire private property.

The frustration is quite justified, and in no way is the city being aggressive enough on this problem, but this is NOT an easy fix.

2014 york's picture

It's unacceptable to me to continually say that there isn't the money to do whats needed. We can demolish block after block of homes to build low income housing communities that cost 2 to 3 times what market rate housing does. We can expand I-95 when other lower cost mass transit solutions can be built. It cost the city 15 million to build sky tram towers at Penns Landing and we will never have a tram to Camden. It's not a question of money, it's a question of priority.

Pure_Fishtown's picture

Kenzo, I know I looked at the BRT site yesterday for this site and wasn't the sale price --- $1. If so, Toby might be related.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

lstriar's picture

The money to built affordable housing comes from the Feds. Even when filtered through the City, it is a dedicated funding source (HOME, CDBG) that has to be used for a very specific purpose.

I-95 comes from the State DOT and the Feds.

The sky tram towers were silly and wasteful, but were also a long time ago.

I am concerned about what can be done now. And unfortunately this type of activity (fire-proofing industrial buildings) has to come from the City, which doesn't have the funding to do this on its own. The State will be of no help. So the solution would be to apply for Federal funding that could help with this type of activity. Or possibly to local foundations (William Penn, Pew) that might respond now that we have an actual tragedy on record.

2014 york's picture

I understand where the money comes from and why. My point is that money can be found and it's often wasted on projects that have a much less positive impact. The "tragedy" is that nothing was done prior to these deaths. Mayor Street is looking really good in hindsight. He did and amazing amount of blight removal during his tenure. Nutter, as much as I like him, has been a miserable failure with the issue. I don't accept the down economy as an excuse. He should have applied for Federal funding when stimulus money was flowing. He could have made a very good case for jobs...he get's a D-

lstriar's picture

So did we want him to take down this building? Did we want to have it and others like it fireproofed?

Did the Mayor not do any Stimulus funding work, or did he just prioritize something else? And would NTI have taken down what seemed to be a viable residential project that has just recently received its zoning?

I am not disagreeing with you. Just asking lots of questions because this cause needs to be focused. There are TONS of things to prioritize in this City, and all of them would be good uses of money. It's time to start screaming even louder for this one now.

TLP's picture

The City should prioritize the large buildings that cause the most blight on the surroundings and pose the greatest threat when a fire like this inevitably happens.

We know the City will act when they consider something a priority. They put the "repair or demolish" placard on the Divine Lorraine two weeks ago, and said explicitly that that was a step necessary to seal the building on their own. (I posted this link up thread: http://articles.philly.com/2012-03-24/news/31234174_1_graffiti-vandals-building-fire-department )

I know an abandoned factory isn't as sexy as the Divine Lorraine, but shouldn't such a large and dangerous building get the same treatment?

Lauraska's picture

Please keep in mind that what Mayor Street did to eliminate blight was often done illegally and the aftermath of those actions is still affecting people today, especially those who supposedly gained ownership of side lots during his tenure but are now learning that their paperwork might not be in order. While I think the city is full of ridiculous excuses right now, I DO agree with the idea that things need to be done by the books - otherwise the people of this city just look like a bunch of chumps. I just think that there were a number of legal and legitimate steps that could have been done to prevent this tragedy and they weren't done.

This is my passive aggressive signature. Yeah it's about you.

dan

I spoke with a friend whose son lived in one of the adjacent houses which caught on fire. He says L&I actually did come out and seal the building multiple times - but that the building would then quickly be broken into again. His don was particularly unhappy with police response, saying he called multiple times and either there was no response or when an officer did show, the only response was to ask the trespassers to leave.

So, L&I may have been more responsive than I have been giving them credit for, although I would still say more unresponsive than responsive, and that the response was i an nadequate band-aid.

I shared this info with Dan Cuellar when I called him @ 10pm with the poll results. Please note that her had already recorded his interview with me at 6pm before I found out this additional info.

This signature is not passive aggressive. Just ignore it if it doesn't apply to you.

2014 york's picture

L&I may have done some work on sealing the perimeter fence but the building was not secure and has not been for at least a year. It was easy for them to pull the gate and squeeze inside. Once inside the courtyard they had easy access into the building from at least 10 openings/doorways. A small gate adjacent to the fire escape tower was frequently removed from it's hinges. I've repaired it on numerous occasions...just last week. I also bought chain and locks to secure the gates. Over the past month there has been a guy living in the building.

There have also been numerous break-ins at the Western Fund Saving Bank that is immediately behind Buck. Scrappers have been removing copper flashing from the roof and have smashed the rear windows to gain access. The furniture store in which the firemen died has also been a target. Scrappers would climb out of second floor windows in the Buck factory onto the roof of the furniture store and bust through the roof.

The only positive in this is that, with Buck gone, crime in the area should diminish significantly.

Kenzo's picture

Heh the Action 6 piece, the next story was Bart Blattstein all smug about the hundreds of high end apartments going into the state office building and a sister tower going in next door to it---repurposing a giant, vacant building.

On the advice of someone who probably queened-out, this signature has been deleted.

picnic's picture

Here is a blog i've been keeping about the installations I've made on the adjacent site. I hope you;ll comment if you find it interesting! http://picnicincontext.wordpress.com/