Reporting Elizabeth Hur
By Elizabeth Hur
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – While one of the victims killed in the collapse was laid to rest Monday, a co-worker rescued from the Salvation Army store spoke out.
She is one of six people who have now filed lawsuits.
“I saw the wall fall and the dust cloud that fell,” Felicia Hill said.
The 36-year-old could barely contain herself, recalling the moments when she says her life flashed before her eyes.
Hill explained, “I was just standing there, covering, shielding my head, trying to protect anything from falling on my head. I saw one of my assistant supervisors and he was trying to calm me down and I was just telling him to help me and I was letting him know that one of my coworkers was on the ground and she was buried.”
According to Hill, that coworker was Kimberly Finnegan who did not survive. Monday evening, her family and friends said their final farewell. Finnegan was 35-years-old and newly engaged. It was her first day on the job there as a cashier.
Hill says while Finnegan was working near the front of the store, she was in the back at the donation center. All of a sudden, she says she felt the building shake, heard the bricks fall then the walls collapsed around her.
“I was even trying to climb out myself but I couldn’t, I had to get somebody to help me and pull me out,” Hill recalled.
Hill’s attorney, Robert Mongeluzzi added, “It is clear they did not have a clue what they were doing. This demolition could not be done the way they were doing it, they didn’t have an excavator that was big enough, they had a building without steel in it, it should have been done by hand.”
Reason why Mongeluzzi is suing — he says his six clients may have survived but are now emotionally scarred.
Hill said, “Sadness, hurt, anger, right now I’m just distraught.”
The mother of seven says she started work as a sales associate at the thrift store eight months ago. For the last few weeks, she claims she and her coworkers had concerns about the demolition work next door. When asked who she thought was to blame for this tragedy — her lawyers responded and said she hired them to get those answers and to make sure this doesn’t happen again.