Nutter: I have faith in fire commissioner

Mayor Nutter today said he fully supported Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers, after the fire union called for his resignation in the wake of a Kensington warehouse inferno that killed two firefighters.

The union Tuesday said that department leadership made tactical errors that led to the death of Lt. Robert Neary, 59, and Firefighter Daniel Sweeney, 25 in the blaze on April 9. Among their criticisms was that fire commanders failed to set up a “collapse zone” — an area around the vacant, burning Thomas W. Buck Hosiery building — that should have prevented firefighters from getting too close to the blazing warehouse.

Nutter today called the criticisms "baseless" and accused the union of making personal attacks.

"There were collapse zones established...There were safety officers on the scene," Nutter said. "It is unfortunate that the union leadership, who I’ve certainly tried to work with over the time that I’ve been here, would make personal attacks on a fine public servant in Lloyd Ayers or on the rest of the fire command leadership."

Nutter said the Commisioner had his support.

I’ve known the commissioner for a long period of time,” Nutter said. “He continues to be the fire commissioner and I have great faith in his service and in his work. “

DN: Union: Oust fire commissioner