Philadelphia Firefighter’s Widow Sues Building Owners

The wife of a Philadelphia firefighter is suing the owners of a vacant Kensington warehouse that burned down last year, killing her husband and another firefighter, reports NBC Philadelphia 10.

Captain Robert Peter Neary, a 37-year-old veteran of the Philadelphia Fire Department died, along with Lieutenant Daniel Sweeney.

Neary’s wife, Diane Neary, is suing the owners and property managers of the warehouse at 1817 East York Street, claiming that the “New Yorkers who collect and neglect” knew what sort of risks their huge, empty warehouse presented in the neighborhood, but through an attitude of indifference and pattern of neglect, chose to ignore those risks.

Nahman Lichtenstein and Yechial Lichtenstein of Brooklyn and Toby Moskovits, who is from Manhattan, are all named in the suit.

The large warehouse spanned half the block when the intense fire, which was started by a squatter, spread quickly and burned for hours the morning of April 9, 2012.

Neary, 60, and Sweeney, 25, died inside an adjacent furniture store. They’d gone back inside on a routine sweep to make sure the fire had not reignited. That’s when a wall from the warehouse collapsed through the store, burying them in bricks and debris.

The suit claims that from September of 2008 until the day of the fire, the owners and property managers “deliberately and recklessly” failed to secure and maintain the property and allowed it to stay in a persistent state of disrepair.

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