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Phila. L&I Cites Owner of Building in Weekend Fatal Fire Escape Collapse

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(Credit: Justin Udo)

(Credit: Justin Udo)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — City officials have formally cited the owner of a center city apartment building where a fire escape collapsed over the weekend, killing one person and seriously injuring two others (see related story).

Twenty-two-year-old Albert Suh suffered severe head and neck injuries in the fall and died a few hours later at Hahnemann Hospital.

Two others were injured in the collapse.

Rebecca Swanson, a spokeswoman for the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections, says the firm that owns the building at 2145 Locust Street — Khorram Group LP — has been cited for allowing an unsafe condition at the building.

She says this will force the owner to get the remaining fire escape inspected.

“He was ordered to obtain a professional engineer’s report regarding the stability of the remaining portion of the fire escape,” she tells KYW Newsradio.  “We do anticipate receiving a copy of that report in the next day or so.   L&I inspectors will review it, and then a determination of the next steps as to what the owner needs to rectify the unsafe condition will be made.”

Swanson says tenants are being allowed to stay in the building but cannot access any portion of the remaining fire escape.

“The property owner was instructed to block off access to the fire escapes so that the residents who are living there aren’t able to go out onto the fire escape.  And there is going to be an inspection done as to the fire suppression system in the property,” she says.

Swanson says the principal owner of the building is being cooperative:

“We have confirmation that he did block off the other entrances from within the building to the fire escape.  And he informed us that he is in the process of obtaining the professional engineer’s report.”

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