Excerpts from theChicagoTribune.com:

Citing a litany of alleged unsafe conditions, Chicago city officials are seeking to demolish a South Side warehouse where a firefighter died after falling into an open elevator shaft.

In an emergency motion filed Tuesday afternoon in Cook County court, city attorneys cited numerous alleged deficiencies discovered in an inspection after the death of Chicago firefighter Daniel Capuano, 42, who plunged into the open shaft in the burning building Monday morning. Building inspectors alleged various problems, including “gaping holes” in the floor and voids stretching from the second floor to the basement left by demolition of the elevator shaft.

The court filings call the building at 9213 S. Baltimore Ave. “an immediate and ongoing threat of irreparable harm” to the public, and the city is seeking unspecified but potentially hefty fines against the owners.

City officials forwarded information to Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez. Prosecutors were reviewing the facts Tuesday to determine whether prosecution could be warranted.

The building is owned by a Wheaton-based company managed by Jatin Patel, according to property records. His attorney, Patrick Cummings, said Tuesday that Patel was “crushed” by the firefighter’s death.

City officials could not immediately provide records indicating whether the building has been inspected in the past.

The Chicago Fire Department investigation continued Tuesday afternoon, spokesman Larry Langford said. Fire officials were awaiting lab results that could indicate where and how the blaze started, Langford said. Arson was not suspected, he said.

PDF: Motion to demolish building at 9213-9219 S. Baltimore Ave.

Building department officials said Monday that “unauthorized work was being performed at the site.” Permits were issued in September for construction work but not authorization for the removal or demolition of an elevator, officials said. If such a permit had been issued, the city would have made sure the elevator was safely decommissioned, according to the building department.

The review of the building done after the fire turned up holes in the floors, exposed wiring and fractured masonry, among other problems, according to the city’s motion seeking to demolish the building. A load-bearing beam was replaced without approved architectural plans or a permit, according to the court filing. A court hearing is scheduled on the city’s motion Thursday.

The city is seeking as much as $1,000 per day for every day the owners kept the building in an unsafe condition, among other fines. Building officials also plan to inspect all properties owned by the company and managed by Patel, according to a building department spokeswoman.

Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza, 10th, said she was shocked to learn that Patel, who was renovating the building with plans of turning it into a grocery store, did not have the appropriate permits.

Sadlowski Garza said Patel is “a great guy” who has been active in the neighborhood, helping host a senior lunch for residents and “going above and beyond to help people in the neighborhood.”

Patel and companies linked to him in local and state records have made frequent contributions to politicians, including $2,500 in donations this fall to Sadlowski Garza, according to campaign finance reports.

thanks Dan