Yet Another Rowhome in Philadelphia Collapses; Owner Had Racked Up L&I Violations

The Daily News’ William Bender is back on the house collapse beat in Tuesday’s Daily News, reporting on a house collapse at 61st Street and Glenmore Avenue in Southwest Philly. One home collapsed Sunday night, displacing five. L&I inspected the block, and deemed 16 more homes unsafe.

Fortunately, no one was hurt in the collapse. Unfortunately, it’s not going to be easy to find the owner:

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PHOTOS: Shirt Corner Collapse Part of a Controlled Demolition

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[This post was updated at 5:30 p.m. to reflect new information from a 4 p.m. L&I press conference]

The aftermath of the collapse at the Shirt Corner at Third and Market Streets this afternoon was ugly, but, according to the demolition team, it went mostly according to plan.

“It was a demolition job and the side wall spilled out onto the street, ” said Mark Christof, a superintendent with Constructure Management Inc. “The building is so close to the street that even the bricks flying out there could’ve hurt somebody. But they positioned people all the way around the whole perimeter to make sure everybody was out of the way before it happened.”

The collapse occurred as the demolition crew attempted to remove the top two floors of 257 Market Street. As a piece of machinery pulled on the building, a portion of the structure buckled and fell onto 259 Market Street, which crumbled from the weight of the debris.

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L&I Cannot Count High Enough to Tally How Many Buildings Have Collapsed in Philadelphia

West Philly Building Collapse

Fun story in today’s Daily News from William Bender: The Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections literally has no idea how many buildings have collapsed in Philadelphia.

To make things even better worse, the Daily News has been trying to get this data for three months!

As a blue-ribbon commission investigates L&I in the wake of last year’s fatal collapse on Market Street, the beleaguered agency said this week that it cannot determine how many buildings have collapsed in recent years because the descriptions of the incidents to which its staffers respond are buried in an unsearchable database.

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