PHILADELPHIA—A judge sentenced used-tire dealer Daniel J. Carr to seven to 14 years in prison for building a huge tire pile that arsonists set on fire last spring, destroying a well-traveled stretch of Interstate 95 in Philadelphia. Mr. Carr, 58, of Chalfont, Pa., also was ordered to pay the city $3 million toward the estimated $6.5 million it will cost to repair the damage from one of the worst fires in recent city history. The March 13 blaze beneath the overpass closed the eight-lane highway for a week.
Mr. Carr insisted he had been planning to clean up the pile of 300,000 tires but Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Klein was not impressed.
``You found out the shortcomings of the system, and played it like a violin,'' he said. ``Tens of thousands of people suffered because of your greed and avarice. Thank God nobody was killed in the thing—that was a sheer stroke of luck.''
Mr. Carr and Gerald Laarz, the dump foreman and Mr. Carr's son-in-law, were convicted in December of conspiracy and violating state waste-disposal laws. Mr. Laarz was sentenced to 2 1/2 to five years in prison.
Four teens were accused of setting the fire and one of them pleaded guilty to arson in November.
Two workers at the site, Edward Dyson and David Mitchell, pleaded guilty Dec. 2 to similar charges for piling the tires. They were arrested a month before the fire.
Mr. Carr's attorney, Louis Busico, admitted his client was negligent. But he said his client bought the site in poor condition and was planning to clean it up. Harsh winter weather slowed the process, he said, and environmental officials removed equipment he was going to use to remove the tires.
Mr. Busico did not say whether he would appeal the sentence or whether Mr. Carr would be able to pay the ordered restitution.