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L&I Investigates Partial Building Collapse In Strawberry Mansion That Left 1 Injured, 3 Displaced

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(credit: CBS) Steve Patterson
Steve Patterson joined CBS 3 and The CW Philly’s Eyewitness News ...
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By Steve Patterson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses and Inspections is investigating a partial building collapse in Philadelphia’s Strawberry Mansion neighborhood.

Those who live near the collapse fear more could be in store.

Myrtlewood Block Captain Mary Felder is counting the number of vacant dilapidated buildings on her block.

“Three on this side actually,” she said.

(Patterson:) “Three vacant houses on this side of your block.”

“Right,” she said.

(Patterson:) “And then there’s two on this side?”

Yes, two,” she said.

Felder got to six.

(Patterson:) “Of these six vacant houses one has already fallen.  How many more feel like they’re going to come down to you?”

“At least two,” she said.

One came down Monday night in the 2600 hundred block of Myrtlewood Street, injuring one, displacing three (See Previous Story).

“We’ve made complaints,” she said.

But Eyewitness News reporter Steve Patterson spoke to L&I Commissioner Carlton Williams, who says it was just too late.

“The call that we received came in on a Friday. We scheduled it for inspection and unfortunately between the time of the call and the scheduled inspection the building collapsed,” Williams said.

Investigators with L&I say this one belongs to owner Luevina Keyes who paid off the mortgage in 2004, a property with more than a $1,500 in liens from when inspectors boarded it up in 2009.

They’ll send her the demolition bill if they can find her.

Residents here wonder why that work wasn’t done long ago.

“To just knock down every building, it’s just not practical. We have to come up with a better solution, a better system to hold people accountable who’s responsible for these buildings in the first place,” Williams said.

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