Ex-commish on Buck Hosiery management: ‘disgraceful’
City Council’s committee hearing last week attempted to determine if proper safety precautions were in place during the five-alarm fire in April at the abandoned Thomas W. Buck Hosiery building in Kensington.
The blaze killed Lt. Robert Neary and firefighter Daniel Sweeney, of Ladder 10, when a wall collapsed.
At the hearing, former Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Roger Ulshafer called emergency management at the blaze “disgraceful.” He said that the commanders on the scene failed to set up a ‘collapse zone’ safety measure.
A taped-off collapse zone area must be set up outside a burning building at a distance one-and-a-half times the height of the walls, according to protocol.
Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers was not at the hearing. Star previously reported that the firefighters union Local 22 also claimed collapse zones were not established. Local 22 has called for Ayers’ resignation, and the union’s president, Bill Gault, has called Neary and Sweeney’s deaths “preventable.”
Mayor Michael Nutter’s office this summer released a statement that a collapse zone was established. There are currently two investigations into the blaze, one by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and another by a local grand jury. ••
FOP will have benefit for officer that punched woman
The Fraternal Order of Police has organized a benefit on Oct. 28 for Lt. Jonathan D. Josey, the officer who was videotaped punching a woman in the head Sept. 30 at a party at 5th Street and Lehigh Avenue, following the city’s Puerto Rican Day Parade.
The $30-per-person event will be held at the FOP Hall on Spring Garden Street near Broad Street. Proceeds, FOP President John McNesby said, will help Josey with his living expenses now that he no longer gets a paycheck. Josey was suspended with intent to dismiss earlier this month. ••
Fishtown, NoLibs sweep Storefront Challenge awards
Earlier this summer, the Community Design Collaborative and the Commerce Department began promoting the citywide Storefront Challenge, which aimed to find examples of storefront improvements of local businesses.
A panel of judges chose winners from more than 60 nominees, and storefronts in Fishtown and Northern Liberties collected quite a few awards at the winners’ ceremony last week.
The contest and ceremony were held as part of DesignPhiladelphia, and to be eligible, construction must have been completed since October 2010.
Winners in various categories were: Little Baby’s Ice Cream, 2311 Frankford Ave.; Silk City Diner, 5th and Spring Garden streets; YIKES, 204-06 E. Girard Ave.; Adorn, 1314 Frankford Ave., and Frankford Hall, 1210-22 Frankford Ave. For more information and photos of the winners, visit www.planphilly.com/eyesonthestreet. ••
Plaque dedication for Thomas J. Wixted
Relatives and friends of slain Philadelphia Police Officer Thomas J. Wixted are invited to attend the dedication of a plaque memorializing him on Oct. 24 at 11 a.m. at 34th Street and Curie Boulevard in University City.
Wixted, a former member of St. Anne’s Church in Port Richmond, was directing traffic outside Convention Hall on March 14, 1942, when a drunken driver in a stolen vehicle struck him from behind. Wixted died from his injuries the next day.
Wixted’s great-niece, Carol Anne Szewczak, is sponsoring the plaque dedication for the Hero Plaque Program. ••