Time to re-evaluate vacant building fires
Fires at large vacant buildings are killers.
These blazes cause more firefighter injuries than in any other property classification and they can kill the fabric of our neighborhoods.
Vacant building fires are often incendiary or suspicious. These structures are targets for kids, vandals, drug-users and the homeless.
Abandoned large buildings put firefighters at extra risk. Stripped of wiring, pipes and other components for scrap, they often contain open shafts or pits, becoming mantraps or allowing fires to spread rapidly.
On April 9, 2012, at 3:13 a.m., a fire broke out in an abandoned, six-story hosiery warehouse at York and Jasper streets. The warehouse covered more than half a block. The Philadelphia Fire Department pulled five alarms and the fire was placed under control after a little more than two hours. Sadly, Lt. Robert Neary and Firefighter Daniel Sweeney, both of the Fire Department’s Ladder 10 station, died when a wall collapsed and buried them while battling the blaze. Two other firefighters survived, but were injured in the collapse.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recently released an investigative report into the blaze that found eight contributing factors to the deaths of Lt. Neary and Firefighter Sweeney.
I’ve introduced an ordinance that will take steps to reduce firefighter, other first responder and community risks as cited by NIOSH. I seek to amend The Philadelphia Fire Code, by providing requirements to create a vacant property task force charged with compiling an inventory and database of such properties. It also calls for an inspection team with specific responsibilities when evaluating abandoned and vacant buildings, structures and premises.
I believe this ordinance is a sorely needed and proactive step in the right direction.
Dennis M. O’Brien
Learn the correct way to shovel, Parkwood
What part of “Do not put snow back in the street” do you people in Parkwood not understand?
Every time we have a decent amount of snow, there go the same few pinheads shoveling it all back into the street after a plow has already been through.
Hello! The plow comes through to remove the snow so drivers can drive down the street.
Last I checked, it is supposed to be a $300 fine. So why are the fines not being distributed? I would think after the mayor said it over and over again, maybe the cops would do their job and issue these fines.
Their excuse, which is always the same for not responding, will probably be “there are more important things to attend to.”
Well, I beg to differ, officers.
Have you ever driven into any of these piles? You are totally blindsided, especially when the visibility is close to zero. On my street alone, I’ve seen people spinning out and almost hitting people, or other cars getting stuck, etc. What about the 20 bus route down Medford Road? One time I drove down Medford Road after a snow storm and there were four men throwing snow back out in the street, even hitting passing cars. It totally didn’t matter. I’m surprised there weren’t any accidents.
Are you waiting for someone to get seriously hurt or killed by these piles before you take action?
Asking people nicely not to do this falls on deaf ears. Yes, these people are that arrogant.
I think if the officers of the 8th Police District, and others alike, would start handing out fines, just maybe these selfish, self-absorbed residents will get the message. I’m sorry, but we don’t pay taxes to have snow removal from our streets just so these idiots can shovel it all back again. Having a considerable amount of snow in the city is stressful enough.
Hint to the guilty: You can tell who they are because you will see the street in front of their house still has all this snow, while the rest of the street is clear.