BOMBSHELL: L&I Inspector Takes Blame For Deadly Building Collapse In Video Suicide Note


NBC PHILADELPHIA: In a final message before taking his life, the lead building inspector responsible for a Center City building that collapsed last week said he was to blame for the deadly disaster. “It was my fault. I should have looked at those guys working, and I didn’t,” Ronald Wagenhoffer said in a video recorded on his smartphone. NBC10 Philadelphia has learned the 52-year-old veteran Philadelphia Licenses & Inspections staffer recorded the one-minute long message for his family. Wagenhoffer was found dead around 9:30 Wednesday night of an apparent suicide, city officials confirmed at a press conference Thursday. Law enforcement sources say Wagenhoffer shot himself once in the chest inside his pickup truck along a wooded section of the 100 block of Shawmont Avenue in the Roxborough neighborhood of Philadelphia. That’s less than a mile from his home. In the video, Wagenhoffer says he couldn’t sleep and blamed himself for the building collapse at 2136 Market Streets that killed six and injured 13 when the building collapsed onto a store on June 5. He admitted he never inspected an adjacent work site after a citizen complained about safety concerns, although he reported there were no violations found. “When I saw it was too late. I should have parked my truck and went over there but I didn’t. I’m sorry,” Wagenhoffer said in the message. City officials said Wagenhoffer was sent to the demolition site of 2134 Market Street on May 14 — that’s adjacent to the building that collapsed at 2136 Market Street. The inspection was set to take place after Center City resident Stephen Field complained to the city’s 311 call center about a lack of safety equipment on workers and adequate protection of the sidewalk. The city has been saying for a week that no issues were found. MORE