NBCPhiladelphia.com - Harry Hairston
Investigators say electrical wiring caused the fire that damaged the warehouse where decorated Mummers group the Fralinger String Band stored their items. Officials say the problem started at or near an unlicensed auto repair business. NBC10's Harry Hairston reports.
Officials have determined the cause of a fire that heavily damaged a warehouse used to store items for a successful Mummers group.
The four-alarmblaze began around 2:30 p.m. at an auto repair shop at 3101 South 2nd St. It quickly spread to a warehouse that houses props and equipment used by the Fralinger String Band, a decorated Mummers group, destroying some of the items.
According to officials, the fire was caused by electrical wiring. They also say the fire started in the rear of the auto shop. They're stll unsure however if there were overloaded wires or faulty wires.
"The problem is whether or not we followed up enough and if they were still operating illegally," said Philadelphia councilman Mark Squilla.
NBC10 confirmed the owner of the repair shop where the fire started is Joe Sigismondi, a contractor. Licenses & Inspections inspected Sigismondi's building in August, September and November of 2011 and mid-June of 2012. While L&I did not find any building code violations, they tell NBC10 Sigismondi was given a $4,000 fine back in August since he did not have a license to repair vehicles at the shop.
Squilla believe L&I should have taken stronger actions against the building's owner.
"These operations should have been posted at some point and the operation should have been closed down," said Squilla. "People do have their rights. But we feel that if there's an illegal operation, that should be stopped instantaneously."
NBC10's Harry Hairston tried to speak to Sigismondi at his home but a woman slammed the door in his face and refused to talk.
Squilla plans to speak with L&I as well as members of the South Philly community to discuss ways to prevent something like Monday's fire from ever happening again.