Woman: I Warned Owners of Fatal Fire Property

Pat Tomen says she and other neighbors met with the Brooklyn-based owners last summer and asked them to seal the building again

By Karen Araiza and Deanna Durante
|  Monday, Jul 1, 2013  |  Updated 1:48 PM EDT
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Neighbors say they complained to the city numerous times about the Kensington warehouse that burned down Monday. Pat Tomen who lives across the street from the building said she even went to the owners about it. The City of Philadelphia released documents showing citations involving other properties owned by that same company. <a href=Click hereto view the documents. " />

NBC10 Philadelphia - Deanna Durante

Neighbors say they complained to the city numerous times about the Kensington warehouse that burned down Monday. Pat Tomen who lives across the street from the building said she even went to the owners about it. The City of Philadelphia released documents showing citations involving other properties owned by that same company. Click hereto view the documents.

Kensington neighbors have said they complained repeatedly to the city about the vacant Kensington warehouse that burned down Monday, killing two Philadelphia firefighters. But one woman, Pat Tomen, says she went one step further -- she went straight to the owners.

"And I told them, 'You have to do something with it, and they didn't do nothing with it," Tomen told NBC10's Deanna Durante.

She and son Tim say the warehouse had been sealed for several years, then scrappers and other people seeking shelter, opened it up. Tomen says she met with one of the Brooklyn-based owners last summer and was one of several neighbors who asked him to seal the place again.

"He could have stopped this tragedy from happening and he wouldn't do it," Tomen said.

A representative for the building's owners did not comment today.

The City of Philadelphia released documents yesterday showing YML Realty owes the city about $60,000 in back taxes on that property alone. The records show that in all, YML Realty has 30 properties in Philadelphia and owes $385,665 in taxes.

On Monday, hours after Lt. Robert Neary, 60, and Firefighter Daniel Sweeney, 25, died in the fire, the city said the fatal fire property at 1817 York Street had been cited four different times by Licenses and Inspection and was facing court action by the city and a possible Sheriff's sale.

Today, the city's Licenses and Inspection department released additional documents showing more than twenty citiations involving properties owned by the same company, and the disposition of each citation.

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