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Grand Jury
York Street Fire Grand Jury Investigation
Lieutenant Robert Neary and Firefighter Daniel Sweeney lost their lives on April 9, 2012 fighting a five alarm fire at the former Thomas Buck Hosiery factory warehouse on York Street. While two of our bravest and finest are no longer here because they were protecting the city, sadly it’s a lack of protection from the city itself that helped lead to the fatal fire.

 After a lengthy, nearly two-year investigation, a Grand Jury has determined that it is not possible to file any criminal charges for the deaths of Lt. Neary and Firefighter Sweeney, or for the serious injuries of two other firefighters that day in 2012. The Grand Jurors wrote in their findings “this grand jury report is really about a failure of government—the failure of Philadelphia administrative agencies to accomplish the basic functions for which they exist. Unfortunately, we have reluctantly concluded that there is currently no appropriate criminal penalty for the tale of misdeeds we found. While the building owners violated virtually every regulation that got in their way, they were never held accountable for doing so, and we do not believe that the available evidence can establish that their flagrant code violations and tax delinquencies caused the fire that eventually destroyed their property and the firemen’s lives. Nevertheless, there are lessons to be learned. Had city departments done their job, these deaths might never have occurred.”

Read the full report here.