Who Was Checking Up On Demolition At Collapse Site? - KMSP-TV

Who Was Checking Up On Demolition At Collapse Site?

Posted: Updated:
PHILADELPHIA -

The corner of 22nd and Market streets now lays in ruins after Wednesday's deadly building collapse.

What was left of the Salvation Army Thrift Store has been demolished. Metal and splintered wood is now all that remains.

FOX 29 wants to know who applied for the permits to tear down that building, and who was checking up on this job? Investigative Reporter Jeff Cole reported live Thursday afternoon from City Hall, working to get us answers.

A couple of things are at issue, Cole reported. First, did the demolition contractor, as required, alert the Department of Licenses and Inspections just before the demolition was supposed to start. There are indications that possibly they didn't.

And why didn't L&I inspectors return to the site when they were first called there back in May?

New video has emerged of the ill-fated demolition under way, over the weekend. It shows a sign being pulled from the building and crashing to the sidewalk below.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says it opened an investigation of the demolition contractor, Griffin Campbell Construction, which operates out of a North Philly address, back on May 15.

An OSHA spokesperson says the caller was fearful workers could fall at that Market Street site but wouldn't leave a name. There's no word on whether OSHA will take action.

A woman claiming to be the daughter of demo contractor Griffin Campbell says her dad feels for the collapse victims.

"He's mourning the loss of those victims just like everyone else," the daughter said.

And what is he saying about all of the criticism that he's hearing, Cole asked?

"What can he say?" answered the daughter.

Records seem to say a lot.

They show that company owner Griffin Campbell has a criminal history and a record of owing the city back taxes, Cole reported.

On Thursday, City Councilman Jim Kenney said those back taxes may have been why Campbell used a third-party to pull his city demo permit.

"He has tax arrearage in business taxes, net profit taxes and, again, the weight stacks issue, so he was tax delinquent, as far as I can see," Kenney said. "And he filed for Chapter 11 in 2011. So, he would not have been eligible, under our current rules, to get a permit."

Philadelphia has moved to shut down other Campbell jobs, including a "stop work order" slapped on the door of a Walnut Street address at 10 p.m. on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Mayor Michael Nutter says city inspectors were called 2134 Market St. by a complaint, not the building that collapsed, 2136 Market St., back in May.

And, at that time, all seemed OK.

"That demolition had not yet started. That building was fully intact, the sign was in place," Nutter said during a Thursday morning news conference.

L&I says there are 300 open demolition permits issued in Philadelphia since 2009, 100 of them in 2013. Only 10 percent have been inspected. Now, L&I is pledging to do them all by next week, Cole reported.

 
  • Send A Tip To FOX 29 Investigates

    Have a tip for Investigative Reporter Jeff Cole and the FOX 29 Investigates team? Send it now!

    * denotes required fields
    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thanks for submitting your tip!

  • Jeff Cole ReportsMore>>

  • FOX 29 Investigates: Former Scout Leader Accused of Abuse

    FOX 29 Investigates: Former Scout Leader Accused of Abuse

    Friday, July 25 2014 1:36 AM EDT2014-07-25 05:36:56 GMT
    A new lawsuit filed against the Boy Scouts and a former scoutmaster by a Chester County mother has the Scouts nationally explaining its actions in the case. Patsy Evasew claims the former scout leader sexually abused her son and it eventually led to his demise.The images of Thomas Evasew's sad, short life hang on the wall of his folks' Chester County home. "I feel when I touch it, I'm touching him. I miss him so every day. There's not a day that goes by,” says Patsy Evasew. She says she misse...
    A new lawsuit filed against the Boy Scouts and a former scoutmaster by a Chester County mother has the Scouts nationally explaining its actions in the case. Patsy Evasew claims the former scout leader sexually abused her son and it eventually led to his demise.The images of Thomas Evasew's sad, short life hang on the wall of his folks' Chester County home. "I feel when I touch it, I'm touching him. I miss him so every day. There's not a day that goes by,” says Patsy Evasew. She says she misse...
  • FOX 29 Investigates: Pa. Sex Offender Allegedly Strikes Again

    FOX 29 Investigates: Pa. Sex Offender Allegedly Strikes Again

    Tuesday, May 20 2014 11:18 AM EDT2014-05-20 15:18:24 GMT

    A convicted child predator is accused of stealing his best friend's identity and striking again! FOX 29 Investigates how he pulled off an escape from Pennsylvania and where he is now.

    A convicted child predator is accused of stealing his best friend's identity and striking again! FOX 29 Investigates how he pulled off an escape from Pennsylvania and where he is now.

  • Fox 29 Investigates: School Crossing Guards

    Fox 29 Investigates: School Crossing Guards

    Thursday, April 17 2014 6:46 AM EDT2014-04-17 10:46:24 GMT
    In Philadelphia, the city pays crossing guards about $50 a day to ensure the child's safety. But what happens when they don't show? Fox 29's Jeff Cole investigates.
    In Philadelphia, the city pays crossing guards about $50 a day to ensure the child's safety. But what happens when they don't show? FOX 29's Jeff Cole investigates.
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Police: Boater Disappearance May Have Been Staged

    Police: Boater Disappearance May Have Been Staged

    Friday, August 1 2014 6:28 PM EDT2014-08-01 22:28:19 GMT
    Egg Harbor Township Police believe the disappearance of a boater in July may have been staged.
    Egg Harbor Township Police believe the disappearance of a boater in July may have been staged.
  • New Video Game Sparks Debate In South Jersey

    New Video Game Sparks Debate In South Jersey

    Friday, August 1 2014 5:30 PM EDT2014-08-01 21:30:49 GMT
    Video games may be pure fantasy, but a violent action-adventure game called "Watch Dogs" has ignited a very real debate in one South Jersey community. Watch Dog allows players to adopt the persona of a James Bond-like computer hacker, chasing an evil mastermind. People say it's chock-full of foul language, sex and violence, features dark and foreboding backdrops. The latest version, which is due out this fall may be set in Camden.
    Video games may be pure fantasy, but a violent action-adventure game called "Watch Dogs" has ignited a very real debate in one South Jersey community. Watch Dog allows players to adopt the persona of a James Bond-like computer hacker, chasing an evil mastermind. People say it's chock-full of foul language, sex and violence, features dark and foreboding backdrops. The latest version, which is due out this fall may be set in Camden.

  • SOGGY WEEKEND

    Friday, August 1 2014 5:24 PM EDT2014-08-01 21:24:23 GMT

    Saturday will start off unsettled, especially S&E, but towards the afternoon most of us should remain drier with light scattered showers.

    Saturday (79/68): AM Rain, PM Clouds

    Weekend, clouds will stick around throughout Saturday and Sunday as wet weather dampens the first weekend in August. Saturday will start off unsettled, especially S&E, but towards the afternoon most of us should remain drier with light scattered showers. There is a better chance for more widespread precipitation Sunday with on and off showers/thunderstorms possible.

    Saturday (79/68): AM Rain PM Clouds

    Sunday (81/68): Cloudy, Showers & T-Storms

Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices