The city has said a collapse zone was established at the site of the fatal fire, but at a City Hall news conference on Thursday, leaders of Firefighters Local 22 said their photographs indicate otherwise.
Firefighters’ Union Local 22 contends that Ayers and his two top deputies were guilty of incompetence and indifference, and should resign or be suspended.
“You need to follow and make sure these funds are not delegated for anything other than to stop these brownouts, to support our firemen,” said Diane Neary, whose husband Robert was killed in a warehouse fire last month in Kensington.
Philadelphia’s annual remembrance for fallen heroes took on an especially somber tone as the families of two firefighters killed in the line of duty last month laid wreaths at the Living Flame memorial service.
The Kensington warehouse blaze earlier this month that claimed the lives of two Philadelphia firefighters is still having a ripple effect through city government.
The implication from a city statement shortly after the fatal fire was that the warehouse owners were huge tax deadbeats.
Philadelphia fire commissioner Lloyd Ayers says representatives from NIOSH — the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health — are here as part of an ongoing evaluation of dangers that firefighters face.
In a statement, the district attorney’s office confirmed that it will submit evidence gathered in the April 9th fire to an investigating grand jury for review and possible charges.
The mayor says he knows the owners of the building in which two firefighters died this month had received three violation notices and never responded.
Hundreds of neighbors held a community vigil in Kensington on Sunday evening to honor the memory of two Philadelphia firefighters who were killed in a devastating warehouse fire on Monday.
Local 22 President Bill Gault says the funerals will be massive. “I expect about 2,000 to 3,000 firefighters from across the United States and Canada here and probably two hundred to three hundred pieces of apparatus.”
The CBS 3 I-Team has learned the owners of the abandoned warehouse at the center of a fire that killed two Philadelphia firefighters own dozens of other properties across the city and owe the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in back real estate taxes.
The Thomas Buck building, where the fire that killed two firefighters on Monday started, is just one of about 25,000 vacant properties in Philadelphia that create safety hazards in neighborhoods.
The fire marshal is probing what started the fire, and aides to the mayor are looking at other properties in the city held by the warehouse owners.
Appearing on Eyewitness News on the CW-Philly, this morning, Nutter said the city will continue to pursue all possible legal action against the property owners, including “outstanding taxes, where the owners are, what they’re doing — their failure to respond to at least three violation notices that we sent. We know that they received them.”