The sidewalk - and the staircase leading up from a subway stop - appeared open to pedestrians despite the falling bricks. Cars and trucks could also be seen going past, just a few feet away.
That appeared to violate OSHA regulations that say "no material shall be dropped to any point lying outside the exterior walls of the structure unless the area is effectively protected."
A permit issued by the city indicated that Campbell was to be paid $10,000 for the demolition work, a seemingly low price given the location and scope of work.
Demolition company owner Griffin Campbell, who has been arrested on charges involving drugs, assault and insurance fraud and has also had two bankruptcy filings, did not return calls for comment Thursday.
Dominique Lee, who answered the door at Campbell's home in Philadelphia and identified herself as his daughter, said he wasn't home but that he was "devastated. He's mourning the loss of those people just like everyone else."
Among those killed was Borbor Davis, an immigrant from Liberia who loved working at the thrift shop, adored his wife and attended church faithfully, said his stepdaughter Maryann M. Mason.
"He did the right thing; he went to work," she said. "That's what everybody is supposed to do."
Another victim, 18-year-old Anne Bryan, was a student at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and had been shopping at the thrift store. The school described her as "dynamic, inquisitive and smart."
Also killed was Kimberly Finnegan, 35, who had just transferred to the store after working for about a year at a Salvation Army shop in another part of the city.
"It was her first day at work there," said Heather Sizemore, a friend. "She was awesome. She was a really loving person."