Owner of Manayunk’s fire-damaged garages is told faulty wiring could be to blame

A freestanding garage on the 100 block of Haines Street in Manayunk was the site of a one-alarm blaze on Thursday afternoon.

At 4:21 pm on Thursday, companies from the Philadelphia Fire Department were dispatched to the structure, a one-story brick garage on a parcel of land which has a formal address on the 3700 block of Sharp Street.

Under the supervision of two chiefs, four engine and two ladder companies arrived shortly after the call, and brought the fire under control in about ten minutes. 

No injuries were reported. Speaking for the PFD, Executive Chief Richard Davison said that the cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the Fire Marshal’s Office.

Property owner reacts 

With the odor of the charred wood timbers still lingering, property owner Nate Torok from iBuild LLC of Newton surveyed the damage to the garage on Friday morning.

Torok was notified of the fire yesterday afternoon by phone from a resident of the 100 block of Haines.

“It wasn’t a good feeling,” he said of the call.

Torok and contractors were working to board the property up on Friday. He was told that faulty wiring was a likely cause of the blaze.

“It’s not as bad as it looks,” said Torok, overlooking the damage.

Torok is a familiar face to local residents – in addition to being the developer of several properties on the 100 block of Haines, he stood before the Wissahickon Neighbors Civic Association in June seeking permission to raze the now-damaged garage and replace it with townhouses.

At the time, WNCA membership demurred voting on the project, citing concerns related to parking plans. In addition, members expressed interest in waiting for the release of the new zoning code, scheduled to take place in August.

Asked for his plans for the damaged structure, Torok was unable to speculate the exact cost of the damage and said he was unsure of his next step.

“It just happened,” he said. “I’m going to need at least the weekend to wrap my head around this.”

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