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Philly inspector kills self after deadly collapse

Thursday - 6/13/2013, 5:29pm  ET

FILE - Firefighters view the aftermath of a building collapse, Thursday, June 6, 2013, in Philadelphia. An official says an inspector who surveyed a Philadelphia building before it collapsed last week, killing six people, has committed suicide. Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison says the inspector was found fatally shot in a pickup truck Wednesday night, June 12, 2013. The man was a Department of Licenses and Inspections employee who had inspected the building May 14. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

MARYCLAIRE DALE
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A veteran Philadelphia building inspector who apparently committed suicide had inspected the site of a deadly building collapse twice in February, and an adjacent, related project in mid-May.

The June 5 collapse killed six people when a four-story building tumbled onto a small thrift shop.

The demolition site consisted of three attached buildings.

Records show that Ronald Wagenhoffer inspected the site before work began on Feb. 12 and again on Feb. 25, after it was underway.

He returned to the strip of attached storefronts on May 14 after a citizen complained about the demolition being conducted at the building next door to the one that collapsed. Wagenhoffer found the complaint unfounded.

Mayor Michael Nutter calls the 52-year-old Wagenhoffer the seventh victim of the tragedy, and says his death "astounding" and "painful."


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