Penn. Shop Endures Fire
March 14, 2019—A North Philadelphia auto body shop that exploded into flames on Monday operated for years without proper permits or safety measures in place, according to city records, reported The Philadelphia Tribune.
At least 14 fire and permit violations remained unresolved and open when the fire started near a pile of tires and rubbish in the early hours of the morning. It took firefighters three hours to control the blaze. The Fire Department isn’t reporting any injuries but the blaze sent a cocktail of harmful, toxic pollutants into the air.
James Renninger, deputy Philadelphia fire chief, told news media that the flames were especially dangerous because all of the chemicals contained in an auto shop.“You can imagine: An auto body shop has oxy-acetylene torches, fuel, chemicals. If something were to explode with any of our personnel in there, it could be hazardous,” Renninger told KYW News Radio.
The shop lacked permits and had flouted at least 12 fire code regulations since May 2016, according to the Department of Licenses and Inspections’ website. The building, which includes a store and an insurance office, has 13 sets of violations dating back to 2010.