Records released by the City of Philadelphia show that the owners of the Buck Hosiery warehouse that burned down in Kensington yesterday, killing two firefighters, owe more than $385,000 in taxes.
They owe nearly $60,000 on the property at 1817 E. York Street that caught fire yesterday. [see records below]
That fire went to five alarms and spread to a furniture factory next door. After the fire was out, Lt. Robert Neary, 60, and Firefighter Daniel Sweeney, 25, went back into the furniture factory on a routine sweep to make sure that fire had not reignited. That's when a wall collapsed, then part of the roof, burying Neary, Sweeney and two other crew members from Ladder 10 in a mound of brick and timber. The other two firefighters, Patrick Nally and Frances Cheney, survived. Nally was injured and is currently listed in guarded condition.
On Monday Mayor Michael Nutter announced he was asking the District Attorney's Office to look into filing criminal charges against the owners. Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams says the first step will be to determine the cause of the blaze before deciding if anyone should be criminally prosecuted.
"We have a lot of investigating to do to see if there is criminal liability on someone starting a fire or the whole secondary issue on the owner of the property," said Williams.
Williams also stated it could be more than a week until the cause of the blaze is determined.