Owner of warehouse destroyed in fire owes Philly $400K in taxes on another property

The investigation continues into Monday’s deadly fire in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood.

Mayor Michael Nutter says city officials are reviewing records on the owner of the multi-story warehouse that burned and collapsed, killing two firefighters.

“The process has been, from a time standpoint, truncated significantly and we’ll take additional steps to try to speed things up,” said the mayor. “At the same time, we are a country of laws and there are processes and procedures that we have to follow …there are rights on both sides.”

The owner of the Kensington property also has a property in the 700 block of Market Street that is a nearly $400,000 behind on taxes, according to Nutter’s chief of staff Everett Gillison.

“The only way we can take anyone’s property is to put it through the same process respecting their rights as well as the rights of the city,” he said.

District Attorney Seth Williams says it will take a while to determine if he will file criminal charges against the property owner.

“We are going to conduct a very through investigation, and if there is criminal responsibility, then we will ensure that someone is prosecuted and held to justice as a result of that,” Williams said Tuesday.

A spokesman for the property owner’s lawyer declined to comment.

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