As The Smoke Clears In Kensington, The City Reflects

 

Photo: Peter Woodall

Early yesterday morning, East Kensington’s Thomas Buck Hosiery was engulfed in flames. Eventually growing to a five alarm fire, the resulting structural collapse killed two firefighters: Daniel Sweeney, 25; and Lt. Robert Neary, 60. The news reports offer a glimpse of how these issues—so familiar and disheartening to the contributors and readers here at the Daily—are perceived by the city’s media as a whole. The introductory blurb from the on-site report filed by Fox29’s Steve Keeley last night reveals something of that surprise: “We never find out about the history of these old factories until they catch fire it seems and all of them eventually do it seems.” For Peter Woodall’s News piece from yesterday, covering the tragedy, click HERE.

  • FOX29’s report from last night features the Daily’s own Peter Woodall, as well the father of fallen firefighter Daniel Sweeney. “He was great firefighter,” said Sweeney. “He looked out for his guys.”
  • The fire of course has roused a great deal of discussion on Philadelphia Speaks. For the thread, “MASSIVE Abandoplex Fire – Thomas Buck Hosiery,” click HERE.

Later today, Nathaniel Popkin will lament the missed opportunities of the building and the area in a Soapbox, and Ryan Briggs will offer a post-mortem to his original piece from last Friday.

About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

Send a message!



3 Comments


  1. Steve Keeley needs to read Hidden City Philadelphia more.

  2. Wow, the Daily News article says they owe $278,610 for this building at 7th & Market – http://g.co/maps/aetq7

    These people should be sued for every pathetic penny they’re worth. The city needs to get real about going after these tax delinquents.

  3. It amazes me how this city constantly cries about how “broke” it is. They [Philadelphia] lack the funds for much needed projects and repairs, but it’s aggressiveness to recover dead-beat tax payers is non-existent. I read the article, “Passing the Buck” (http://hiddencityphila.org/2012/03/passing-the-buck/) which was published on March 30th. On April 9th this building goes up in flames, interesting. I’m sure the people who live in that neighborhood had a feeling this would happen. Seems to happen often when community groups and the city start pushing to get results. The city should have taken over that building long ago. If the average resident owed that kind of money in taxes and fines it would have been a swift an easy process through the courts. Now, with two fire fighters dead, a building in ruins, and neighboring homes damaged, the city marches forward with a criminal investigation into the cause of the fire. A city that needs money, does nothing to collect, now awakens to administer legal action at the cost of two dead fire fighters. The city is just as guilty as the owners of that building.

Recent Posts
Donate Today  And  Help Us Stay The Course

Donate Today And Help Us Stay The Course

November 21, 2014  |  News

What would Philadelphia be without Hidden City Daily? That question looms as we end the 9th day of our annual campaign. Co-editor Michael Bixler has this special message to our readers > more

Developer Plans For Living & Making In Bok

Developer Plans For Living & Making In Bok

November 21, 2014  |  Morning Blend

Preliminary visions for a reused Bok Technical High revealed, wayfinding system in store for the Northwest, and anticipating the demise of the PGW sale > more

Our Elected Officials & The Cheapening Of Public Space

Our Elected Officials & The Cheapening Of Public Space

November 20, 2014  |  Morning Blend

Selling our visual landscape short with urban experiential displays, local government attitudes on display at the "City Hall Parking Lot", a nocturnal urban arts tour, and envisioning a high-speed line through Philly > more

12th Street Gym Is Great But It Used To Be The <em>Shvitz</em>

12th Street Gym Is Great But It Used To Be The Shvitz

November 19, 2014  |  Vantage

Nothing says healthy living like a corned beef sandwich, a lit cigar, and the sauna. Ron Avery gives us an old-world tour of Camac Baths, the former Jewish bathhouse at 12th Street Gym > more

Blatstein Discusses Plans For Southern “Gateway To Center City”

Blatstein Discusses Plans For Southern “Gateway To Center City”

November 19, 2014  |  Morning Blend

Broad & Washington lot discussed at community meeting, development angst in Upper Roxborough, the pragmatism of the Live! Hotel & Casino selection, and The Bourse to cater to N3rd Street > more

Reconsidering The Modern Urban Library

Reconsidering The Modern Urban Library

November 18, 2014  |  Morning Blend

The FLP “builds inspiration,” a rocky revitalization for West Girard, how much stimulus Pope Francis will bring to town, and regarding the legions of sweepers from yesteryear > more