Firefighters file complaint against Philly over records on fatal blaze

The union representing Philadelphia firefighters has filed a complaint against the city as firefighters attempt to get recordings related to a warehouse blaze that killed two of their own.


The unfair labor practices complaint, filed with the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, cites the city’s failure to turn over audio recordings and written reports of the April 9 Kensington fire. Lt. Robert Neary and Firefighter Daniel Sweeney died when a wall collapsed on them.

The union has maintained the two would not have been killed if a proper “collapse zone” had been set up around the building.

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Union head Bill Gault says he doesn’t understand the city’s refusal to turn over the information.

“We’re asking for the recordings and the written report from the job … we lost two of our best and bravest,” he said. “We want the truth to be known so tragedy like this never happens again.”

Gault says the city is stonewalling because of an ongoing contract stalemate.

At the time of the fire, city officials claimed a collapse zone had been established. Since then,city representatives have declined comment, citing pending litigation.

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