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Building At Center Of Ogontz Collapse Reportedly Had History Of L&I Violations

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By Jenn Bernstein and Steve Patterson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –  Neighbors want answers after a building collapses Sunday night.

Eyewitness News has new details on the collapse that injured two people in North Philadelphia.

The collapse happened Sunday night near Ogontz Avenue and Limekiln Pike just before 8 p.m.

Two people walking by at the time were rushed to the hospital and may have been hit by falling debris. The severity of their injuries is not clear.

Michael Chadwick has lived nearby for more than fifty years. He said he and his wife walked by the building on the way to church yesterday.

“She said, ‘Michael, that’s going to fall by this afternoon, or by tomorrow morning — no later,'” said Chadwick. “And lo and behold, we came back from Wawa and it was collapsed.”

Chadwick says he saw an L & I Inspector looking at the building on Thursday.

Eyewitness News has reached out to L & I but we have not heard back to verify if they had recently visited the site. They were on the scene last night, surveying the damage.

According to online records, Eyewitness News found the building has a history of L & I violations that date back to 2006.

Chadwick says he’s concerned with a number of buildings, including the one right next door.

“This is giving us the warning sign right now that something needs to be done right away,” said Chadwick. “Because if you look at this side, the collapse, on the other side on Sparks Street, it’s about to collapse.”

And as of now, there are no details on the conditions of the two men injured in the collapse.

L & I said they spent the day trying to track down owner of the building Sabrina Rush, who’s been dodging payments since 2007.  L&I says she owes more than $12,000 in taxes and more than $6,000 in abatement leans on the vacant property.

Inspectors with the department say there have been half-a-dozen property violations in just the past three years.

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