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Owners of Building Where Firefighters Died Cited For Other Phila. Violations

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — City officials have issued new citations against the owners of the Kensington warehouse that burned last week, killing two firefighters (see previous story).

These violations concern a property they own on Market Street, in center city Philadelphia.

Michael, Nahman, and Yechiel Lichtenstein of Brooklyn, NY own the Kensington warehouse that burned, and they have hired a local defense attorney as a grand jury investigates that blaze (related stories).

Now, the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections has filed three new citations on their property at 726 Market Street, a partially occupied residential condominium.

“We cited them for three issues — failure to adequately maintain the façade of their structure; they did not have a housing inspection license, which you need to operate a condo building in the city of Philadelphia; and third, they did not provide us with a certification of their fire alarm system,” says L&I spokeswoman Maura Kennedy.

The building is not considered dangerous, though, and the occupants remain.

The brothers also owe more than a quarter-million dollars in back taxes on that Market Street property.  They own some thirty other properties, some of which also have outstanding code violations and outstanding taxes owed.

Michael Schwartz, an attorney for the Lichtensteins, says given the ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment on the L&I citations.

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