FOX 29 Getting Results Follow Up: Illegally Dumped Tires - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

FOX 29 Getting Results Follow Up: Illegally Dumped Tires

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Shaji's shop has been closed because of an unsafe wall Shaji's shop has been closed because of an unsafe wall
SOUTH PHILADELPHIA -

"You're telling us that within the next two or three weeks, these tires are all going to be gone," said FOX 29's Bruce Gordon.

"Yes. Yes. You come back and I'll show you," he replied.

"We're going to take you up on that offer." Bruce told him.

That was the owner of an auto repair shop, exactly five weeks ago, assuring our Bruce Gordon that he would clean up a mountain of old tires, dumped illegally on his property by a couple of former tenants.

Today, Bruce paid him a visit. Ebrahim Shaji seemed almost happy to see us, even though he had to know why we were back.

"You'll recall about five weeks ago, we visited you and you said in two to three weeks you'd have all these tires out here," says Bruce. "And I don't see them all out of here."

Shaji told us that the tires piled on his property, 16,000 of them last December and nearly 6,000 at the end of July, were now down to about 3,000. He explained that moving these tires hasn't been easy.

"You cannot just take them out and dump them anywhere. I don't want to make my problem become someone else's problem. We have to take it to the right recycling place," says Shaji.

Nor has it been cheap.

"It's money," admits Shaji.

But with FOX 29 and the state Department of Environmental Protection breathing down his neck and neighbors growing angrier with each mosquito they swat, Shaji made us a new promise.

"What is your best guesstimate for when you can have this lot cleared?" asks Bruce.

"Ooohhh, if everything, money-wise, works, maybe another two week, at the most. Hopefully," says Shaji.

"You really think you can do it in two weeks," asks Bruce.

"I hope so, yes," he replies.

"That's a lot of tires to get out of here in two weeks," comments Bruce.

"Yes, yes," Shaji says.

Since our original report, a new wrinkle has come to light that has changed everything. It could even be called a crack, two huge cracks in the side wall of the garage of Shaji's repair shop. The city's Department of Licenses and Inspections calls these longtime cracks a major hazard, and, on August 19th, ordered Shaji's shop closed for safety reasons. So how does he make money to pay for tire removal?

"I don't know. I don't know. I mean, honest to God, that's what I'm stuck with," he says.

Making mountains into molehills just got tougher. But FOX 29 will make sure it happens.

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