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NEWS
February 5, 2014 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO & DAVID GAMBACORTA, Daily News Staff Writers difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
AFTER A FIRE in a derelict warehouse exploded into an inferno that killed two city firefighters in 2012, city officials vowed to crack down on the abandoned factory's slum owners and get justice for the victims' families. Instead, it appears, everybody is getting off scot-free. Announcing the results of a grand-jury investigation, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams yesterday said he won't bring criminal charges against anyone for the April 9, 2012, blaze at the former Thomas Buck Hosiery factory in Kensington that killed fire Lt. Robert Neary and firefighter Daniel Sweeney.
NEWS
February 5, 2014 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Philadelphia grand jury unearthed plenty of blame in the 2012 Kensington blaze that killed two firefighters, but the jurors couldn't come up with a crime that fit "the tale of misdeeds we found. " In a 110-page report released Monday, the grand jury said the owners of the dilapidated Thomas W. Buck Hosiery building had allowed it to become "a firetrap. " Nahman and Michael Lichtenstein never "did anything to bring the building up to code," while an army of scrappers, squatters, and drug addicts had free rein inside the property, the grand jury said.
NEWS
January 31, 2014 | BY JENNY DeHUFF, Daily News Staff Writer dehuffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
IN ADVANCE of what one lawmaker expects to be a "blistering" grand-jury report on the deaths of two Philadelphia firefighters, City Councilman Denny O'Brien will introduce a bill today that takes inspecting vacant warehouses a step further. In the early morning of April 9, 2012, a five-alarm fire broke out in an abandoned six-story hosiery warehouse in Kensington. The fire, which engulfed more than half a city block, killed Lt. Robert Neary, 60, and Daniel Sweeney, 25, both of the Fire Department's Ladder 10 station.
NEWS
January 25, 2014 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHOENIXVILLE As crews from the Phoenixville Fire Department battled a chimney fire spreading inside a home early Thursday, another crisis unfolded in their midst. A team member collapsed. And he wasn't breathing. "The other firefighters that were with him immediately stopped and attended to him, realized the severity of what was going on, and were able to drag him to another room that was away from the fire," said Deputy Chief David Meadows, who now knows that his teammate was going into cardiac arrest.
NEWS
January 23, 2014 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
George G. Kuhnel, 66, who retired in 2003 after a career as a firefighter and paramedic in Gloucester City, died of lung and brain cancer at his home in Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Dec. 18, 2013. A memorial service in Gloucester City has been set for Saturday. "He had that presence about him that he wanted to save people," a daughter, Jennifer Cermele, said. "He was an amazing guy who enjoyed taking care of people. " Mr. Kuhnel was training with other first responders in Lakehurst on the morning of Sept.
NEWS
January 7, 2014 | By Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman, Inquirer Staff Writer
The cause of a two-alarm fire in Norristown over the weekend that damaged seven homes, displaced 19 residents, and left a boy hospitalized from injuries suffered when he jumped from a third-floor window remains unknown, fire officials said. The fire erupted about 2:30 p.m. Saturday on the 200 block of East Minor Street. The injured boy, believed to be from the home where the fire started, was transported to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia with unspecified injuries, according to the Norristown Fire Department.
NEWS
December 15, 2013 | BY DANA DIFILIPPO, Daily News Staff Writer difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
MORE THAN two months have passed since an ambulance's electrical wiring shorted, sparking a blaze that destroyed the vehicle and ravaged a firehouse at 4th and Arch streets in Old City. But plywood still blocks the windows and garage doors of the Ben Franklin Firehouse, and the firefighters and paramedics who worked there remain reassigned to other stations. That irks the firefighters' union, whose leaders complain that the shuttered firehouse leaves the city's historic district vulnerable because the next-closest stations are blocks away, increasing emergency response time.
NEWS
December 8, 2013 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Philadelphia Housing Authority high-rise in North Philadelphia was evacuated Friday night as flames roared through the 16th floor, authorities said. No injuries were reported. The fire at the 18-story Fairhill Apartments, 2443 N. 11th St., was reported about 8:50, authorities said. The Red Cross said it was helping more than 100 people from at least 160 units. There was no word on when they would be able to return. By 10 p.m., the fire had been knocked down and the last few residents were being taken from the building.
NEWS
November 3, 2013 | By Melanie Burney, Inquirer Staff Writer
CHERRY HILL Camden County firefighters are getting help fighting what can be one of their biggest risks on the job: their own health. Cardiac disease is the number one killer among firefighters over 35, and 44 percent of all deaths in the line of duty are from sudden cardiac arrest, statistics show. Those numbers were behind a new health screening program, "Helping Heroes," launched Friday by the county freeholder board and Cooper University Health Care. "We want to change those statistics," said Louis Bezich, Cooper's chief of staff.
NEWS
November 1, 2013 | BY SEAN COLLINS WALSH, Daily News Staff Writer walshSE@phillynews.com, 215-854-4172
WHEN PHILLY firefighters and paramedics ousted their hotheaded union president last summer, there was hope for a fresh start in the caustic relationship between Mayor Nutter's administration and the union. So much for that. Compelled by a subpoena from City Councilman Jim Kenney, a vocal union ally, Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers testified yesterday at a hearing on the department's recent retraction of promotions for 14 employees. A Common Pleas judge had ordered the promotions, following a lawsuit from the union.
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