Saturday, October 22, 2016

BEST FRIENDS TILL DEATH AND BEYOND: A toddler who died in a house fire was found with his dog and teddy bear next to him IN sPOKANE, wa

Toddler dies in fire, his dog huddled at his side

This photo provided by the Spokane Fire Department shows the bed where a toddler and his dog died in a fire, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016. (AP)

Updated 39 mins ago
SPOKANE, WA -- A toddler who died in a house fire was found with his dog and teddy bear next to him and authorities believe the dog tried to protect the boy, a spokesman for Spokane's fire department said Saturday.

The dog, a terrier mixed breed, also died in the fire that broke out at about 11:30 p.m. Friday, said the spokesman, Brian Schaeffer.

Three other children and two adults escaped from the blaze in Spokane's Hillyard neighborhood, he said.

The dog stayed behind in an attempt to protect the boy, firefighters believe, and the fire was so intense that it melted the metal on the frame of the boy's bed, Schaeffer said.

Jerry Atabelo, who lives across the street, told The Spokesman-Review he saw the flames and heard screaming as he was getting ready for bed. He yelled for his wife to call 911 and ran outside to hook up his 150 foot water hose.

As people screamed that a child was still in the house, neighbors dragged the hose across the street and sprayed water through a window to try to put out the fire, Atabelo said.

The battery in the house's smoke detector had been removed and it was not working, Schaeffer said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and police are investigating the child's death.

M/V Gallia Graeca Ship’s Owner and Operator Ordered to Pay $1.3 Million Fine and $200,000 Community Service Payment for Violating Pollution Laws, Falsifying Records and Scheming to Defraud the U.S.

Friday, October 21, 2016
Ship’s Owner and Operator Ordered to Pay $1.3 Million Fine and $200,000 Community Service Payment for Violating Pollution Laws, Falsifying Records and Scheming to Defraud the U.S.

Ship Discharged Oily Waste on Voyage from China to Seattle; False Log Books given to Coast Guard Inspectors

The companies that own and operate a Greek shipping vessel were sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle, Washington, to a $1.3 million fine for the dumping of oily waste at sea, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes for the Western District of Washington. The ship operator, Angelakos (Hellas) S.A., and the ship owner, Gallia Graeca Shipping Ltd., were found guilty in June 2016 of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, Falsification of Records in a Federal Investigation and engaging in a Scheme to Defraud the United States. In imposing the monetary penalty, U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour for the Western District of Washington said he hoped the sanctions “would resonate and cause other companies to pause when they think about creating a corporate culture that encourages deception.”

“These companies promoted a culture of lies and lawlessness that left a trail of pollution in the Pacific Ocean,” said U.S. Attorney Hayes. “Knowing that the Coast Guard was going to do an inspection of their shipping vessel, corporate managers allowed the Chief Engineer to present falsified documents. The significant fines imposed in this case send a clear message that those who spoil our environment by putting their business interests ahead of our laws will be held responsible.”

According to records filed in the case and testimony at trial, a cargo ship named the M/V Gallia Graeca travelled from China to Seattle in October 2015. During the voyage, a pollution-control device known as an oil water separator was inoperable. On Oct. 16, 26 and 27, 2015, the defendants discharged overboard approximately 5,000 gallons of oily bilge water. The defendants concealed these incidents from the Coast Guard by making false statements to inspectors and making false statements and omissions in the ship’s oil record book. When Coast Guard inspectors asked the engineers to operate the oil water separator during the inspection, the engineers did so in such a way that the equipment appeared to be working properly even though it was not.

When Coast Guard inspectors examined the oil water separator they found its filters were clogged with oil and found oil residue in the overboard discharge piping. Records indicated the oil water separator had not been serviced for months prior to the voyage from China. The defendants presented the Coast Guard with an official oil record book stating that bilge water had not been discharged during the voyage to Seattle. However, the Coast Guard investigation discovered evidence that oily water had been discharged into the sea three times on its voyage from China.

Calling it “a voyage of deception and pollution,” prosecutors argued that the engineers tried to hide the pollution from the Coast Guard to avoid having the ship detained in Seattle. Keeping the ship on schedule was a benefit to the owners and operators who had a contract to move $25 million in goods out of Seattle. Shipping company executives had been in contact with the engineers about how they should present the log book for the Coast Guard inspection.

“Through strong partnerships with the Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our Coast Guard Investigative Service, this case demonstrates our commitment to hold accountable shipping companies engaged in illegal activities,” said Captain Joe Raymond, Coast Guard Captain of the Port Puget Sound. “The Coast Guard will protect our marine environment through coordination with international, national, regional and local partners and will promote sustainable development of our nation’s ocean resources by enforcing pollution prevention laws and regulations and maintaining a robust vessel inspection program.”

The companies were placed on five years of probation and required to have environmental compliance plans in place which will ensure they are abiding by anti-pollution policies and regulations.

In addition to the $1.3 million fine, U.S. District Judge Coughenour ordered a $200,000 community service payment to be shared between the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the National Parks Foundation. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is a congressionally-chartered non-profit organization that works to “further the conservation and management of fish, wildlife, plants and other natural resources.” The payment will go to fund marine restoration and preservation projects in the Pacific Ocean, the site of defendants’ pollution. The National Parks Foundation does significant ocean beach clean-up – particularly on the ocean beaches of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.

The two engineers who operated the ship’s equipment and falsified the log books were sentenced to short prison terms before returning to Greece.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Seth Wilkinson and Matthew Diggs and by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Bor. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Bor is an attorney with the U.S. Coast Guard specially appointed to prosecute criminal cases in federal court.

The case is being investigated by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation Division.

PREVENT GAS EXPLOSIONS: it's important to get your homes and appliances checked out, especially heating appliances when they've been sitting idle all summer long

After natural gas explosion, fire official recommends you check your home

By Deedee Sun |
Posted: Sat 12:44 AM, Oct 22, 2016 |
Updated: Sat 1:00 AM, Oct 22, 2016

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - More than two days after an explosion flattened a woman's home in Lincoln County on Wednesday, she remains in critical condition at a Wichita hospital. The Lincoln County Sheriff's office said Friday a natural gas leak caused the explosion, but fire marshals don't know where the leak came from.
That same Wednesday morning in Portland, OR, A natural gas leak caused a massive explosion that destroyed several businesses, and hurt seven people, including two firefighters.

Eyewitness News asked a local fire marshal how people can prevent natural gas leaks and explosions. The Andover Fire Marshall says there are some steps you can take to help keep your home safe and say you should get it checked by a professional on a regular basis.

"Seasonally, as we come into this cooler season, it's important to get your homes and appliances checked out, especially heating appliances when they've been sitting idle all summer long," said Mike Roosevelt, the Fire Marshall in Andover.

"If people have not been using their gas appliances, when you energize them that first time there's always that potential," he said.

He also says you should trust your senses, to detect a leak - natural gas has a chemical added to it, that gives it a rotten egg, sulfur smell.

"If you smell an abundant smell, evacuate," Roosevelt said. "If gas accumulates to a high level, an extensive explosion can occur."

Kansas Gas Service also has these tips:

- If you see a yellow flame instead of a blue one on your furnace, it's a warning sign your natural gas isn't burning properly.
- If you hear a hissing noise around your natural gas meter or appliances, you might have a leak.
- If you see unexplained dead vegetation or bubbling puddles of water around your yard or natural gas meter, you might have a leak.

On Saturday, American Family Insurance will build a fence around the remains of the home destroyed by the explosion, so they can investigate what caused the leak without disturbance. A 57 year old woman inside the home suffered severe burns and is still at a Wichita hospital.

Massive 3-alarm triple-decker fire in Worcester, Mass. leaves 11 people homeless

6 rescued from massive triple-decker fire in Worcester

Updated: Oct 22, 2016 - 9:18 AM 

WORCESTER, Mass. - Six people were rescued from a home in Worcester after it went up in flames early Saturday morning.

Fire officials told FOX25 four adults and two children were on the top floor of the triple-decker when the fire broke out.

Firefighters brought a ladder to the window and helped all six climb out and get to safety. All were taken to UMass Worcester Hospital to be checked out for smoke inhalation.

Three companies were sent to battle the blaze as the flames melted the siding on neighboring houses.

No firefighters were injured and the flames were under control Saturday morning. Fire officials are investigating the cause and origin of the blaze.


Six people were taken to a hospital after a 3-alarm fire broke out in Worcester, Massachusetts, early Saturday morning.

The fire took place at 2 Pelham St. Heavy flames consumed the second and third floors of the building.

According to the Worcester Fire Department, 11 people total are displaced as a result of the incident. Six people were trapped in the building and later hospitalized for non-life threatening injuries. Five others were displaced and remain unharmed.

The fire was knocked out an hour after it began and no firefighters were injured during the rescue.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Arson charges have been filed against a child in connection with the massive Beaver Creek fire near Walden in Colorado that destroyed 38,000 acres and several structures

By Jesse Paul | 

UPDATED: October 21, 2016 at 11:26 pm

Prosecutors announced on Friday that arson charges have been filed against a child in connection with the massive Beaver Creek fire near Walden in Colorado.

The Eighth Judicial District Attorney’s Office says the accusations were filed on Oct. 4. The child’s name, age and gender were not released and authorities declined to release further information in the case.

The fire, which was reportedly still smoldering earlier this week, burned more than 38,000 acres, destroying one home and 16 other structures. It spread into Wyoming and prompted hundreds of firefighters to be summoned to fight the burn.

The fire was ignited on June 19 and consumed land managed by the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming State Forestry Division and Colorado.

“The investigating authorities are continuing to conduct follow-up interviews and finalize reports,” the district attorney’s office said in a news release. “… Due to the suspect’s age, the District Attorney’s Office will not be issuing any further information pertaining to this case.”

The Beaver Creek fire stood apart from other wildfires and was so difficult to harness because of its 38,000-plus acres of mostly beetle-kill timber, a volatile fuel that forces firefighters to rethink the way they can safely approach such large burns. The U.S. Forest Service hopes the fire provides a blueprint for how to fight blazes in the millions of acres of forest in Colorado and across the West that have been ravaged by insects.

Authorities had hinted that the fire was human caused, but until Friday had not announced any arrests or further details in the case.


OCTOBER 22, 2016
ONTARIO, CA (FOX 11) - A smoke advisory continued through Saturday morning in Ontario after a massive fire broke out Friday, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

Firefighters battled a three-alarm massive fire at an Ontario recycling plant on Friday that sent a huge plume of black smoke into the air.

The fire broke out around 4:23 p.m. at a recycling facility near Holt Boulevard and N. Grove Avenue.

Shooting Firefighters say the fire was fueled by bales of cardboard and wooden pallets. Propane tanks on the property also exploded.

There is no word yet on the cause of the fire and no serious injuries were reported.  These recycling centers have huge amounts of combustible material;  it only takes a spark and everything goes up in flames.


Valid Friday, October 21, 2016

This advisory is in effect today and Saturday morning. SCAQMD will issue an update if additional information becomes available.

Air quality in the Inland Empire County is being affected by a commercial area fire in Ontario, west of the Ontario International Airport between the I-10 and CA-60 freeways.

The fire is at a recycling facility with mainly pallets and cardboard reported to be burning. Smoke is currently blowing mainly toward the east and is heaviest close to the fire. If the fire continues tonight, smoke will likely settle in the inland valleys of metropolitan San Bernardino and Riverside overnight with relatively weak wind flows. Air quality will likely reach Unhealthy levels in areas directly impacted by smoke for significant periods of time.

Depending on evolving conditions, areas of direct smoke impacts and Unhealthy air quality will likely include areas of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, especially portions of Southwest San Bernardino Valley (Forecast Area 33), Northwest San Bernardino Valley (Area 32), Central San Bernardino Valley (Area 34), and Metropolitan Riverside County (Area 23).

In any area impacted by smoke: Everyone should avoid any vigorous outdoor or indoor exertion; people with respiratory or heart disease, older adults, and children should remain indoors. Keep windows and doors closed or seek alternate shelter. Run your air conditioner if you have one and keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent bringing additional smoke inside. Avoid using a swamp cooler or whole-house fan to prevent bringing additional smoke inside. To avoid worsening the health effects of fire smoke, don’t use indoor or outdoor wood-burning appliances, including fireplaces.

SCAQMD Advisory updates can be found at the following link:

To subscribe to air quality alerts, advisories and forecasts by email, go to

To view current air quality conditions by region in an interactive map, see

For more tips on avoiding health impacts from smoke, see SCAQMD Fire Safety Alert Factsheets at

For a map of SCAQMD Forecast Areas, see


Massive 3-Alarm Fire Sends Smoke Towering Over Ontario Area
Posted 5:06 PM, October 21, 2016, by Melissa Pamer and Mary Beth McDade, Updated at 10:27pm, October 21, 2016

Firefighters are battling a massive blaze that is burning bales of plastic bottles, cardboard and other recyclables -- and sending a giant plume of dark smoke into the air -- in the Ontario area Friday night.

Smoke billows from a huge fire in Ontario on Oct. 21, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)

Firefighters were called to a 3-alarm fire at a recycling center at Grove Avenue and Holt Boulevard about 4:23 p.m. The fire has since spread to a neighboring recycling center.

Hundreds of homes and businesses have been evacuated, according to fire officials.

A captain with the Ontario Fire Department later told KTLA that there have been no injuries to firefighters thus far.

"So we do have a couple of out buildings that were destroyed in the fire," said Capt. John Sitar of the OFD. "We have no firefighters that were injured. We have no workers on sight that were injured. We do have a civilian that had some smoke inhalation, but they're on the outskirts of the facility."

A quick wind change caused the man to suffer from smoke inhalation, according to fire officials.

A Twitter account run by the city of Ontario said a "hay fire" was burning on State Street, which is parallel to Holt Boulevard. The account later said firefighters were working to protect commercial structures threatened by a pallet fire.

Aerial video from Sky5 showed both hay bales and pallets burning on a large parcel, with black smoke towering hundreds of feet into the air.

The blaze was burning about a mile south of the 10 Freeway and just northwest of Ontario International Airport, about 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Flights at the airport was not affected by the fire.

Railroad tracks in the area were closed due the fire, the city said.

Firefighters expect the flames to continue for several more hours due to the amount of burnable fuel available.

Two workers with Tutor Perini injured after they fell about 15 feet and hit a roof over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge's lower level following a car collision

OCTOBER 21, 2016
FORT WADSWORTH — Workers on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge were injured Thursday when a car knocked them off the span.

The two men fell about 15 feet and hit a roof over the bridge's lower level, officials said.

The construction workers were carrying a wood-beam on the upper-level of the bridge when the beam was hit by the car and they fell at 7:36 a.m., according to the FDNY and MTA.

They hit a protective barrier which serves as a roof over the lower level, an MTA spokeswoman said.

Officials said they did not fall all the way to the lower roadway.

Emergency officials took the victims to Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, the FDNY said. One worker had a broken arm and the other had a back injury.

It was unknown if the driver was charged with a crime.

The contractor for the project, Tutor Perini, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A lineman worker with Mountain Parks Electric, Inc., sufferred burns to his foot after he was shocked by a power line in Grand County, Colorado

(Photo: Lt. Dan Mayer, Grand County Sheriff's Office)
Coworkers save lineman shocked by powerline
Janet Oravetz, KUSA 10:17 PM. MDT October 20, 2016

GRAND COUNTY, COLORADO - A worker with Mountain Parks Electric, Inc., is expected to make a full recovery despite being shocked by a power line Wednesday afternoon.

"It went all the way through him, there was an entry and an exit," Lt. Dan Meyer with the Grand County Sheriff's Office said. "He had a burn on his foot."

The accident happened around 3 p.m. while Adam Paulson, 31, and other workers were replacing a power pole near Parshall according to Lt. Dan Mayer with the Grand County Sheriff's Office.

It's not clear how Paulson came into contact with the wire, but Mountain Parks Electric says about 500 amps of electricity went through his body. Immediately afterward two coworkers began CPR and then used an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to shock him. He was awake and talking when emergency responders arrived.

"He was sitting there, if you looked at him you'd think he was a little dazed but that was it," said Lt. Mayer.

Paulson was taken by helicopter to University of Colorado Hospital. Mountain Parks Electric says Paulson is doing well and is not expected to have any long-term effects from the accident.

A worker was taken by helicopter to a hospital after coming into contact with a power line at a work site. (Photo: Lt. Dan Mayer, Grand County Sheriff's Office)

Lt. Mayer says Paulson is extremely lucky his coworkers had the life saving equipment and knew how to use it because the accident happened in a remote location with spotty cell phone service.

The sheriff's office plans to recognize Paulson's coworkers for their efforts.

Mountain Parks Electric says it has a strong safety program that includes training all of their employees to use AEDs and supplying them on all of their trucks.

"The crew members put that training to use in saving this man's life," said Scott Simmons, assistant manager for MPE. "We could not be more proud of these men."

3 Squares-branded Tim3 Machin3 and Mini Tim3 Machin3 rice and slow cookers with fixed power cords are being recalled due to fire and electric shock hazards.

RECALL | 3 Squares Rice/Slow Cookers due to fire and electric shock hazards

By News 12 NBC 26 Staff |
Posted: Wed 7:32 AM, Oct 19, 2016

Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (WRDW/WAGT) – About 175,000 rice and slow cookers are being recalled due to fire and electric shock hazards.

This recall involves 3 Squares-branded Tim3 Machin3 and Mini Tim3 Machin3 rice and slow cookers with fixed power cords.

The 20-cup/4-quart or 8-cup/1.7-quart programmable electric cookers are stainless steel with black molded plastic, have a control panel/keypad on the front and measure about 11 inches in diameter and 12 inches tall. The 3Squares logo is printed on the front of the control panel. Model numbers starting with 3RC and ending in 3010S, 3020S, 3434, 5020 and 9010S are included in the recall. The model number is printed on a label on the side of the product.

The company says they have gotten reports of a cooker sparking when turned on and a cooker turning itself on. At least one shock injury has been reported.

The rice and slow cookers were sold nationwide at home, hardware, mass merchandisers and department stores nationwide and online at Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Costco, Get3Squares, Home Depot, Kohl’s, Target, Wayfair and other websites from December 2015 through July 2016 for between $30 and $70.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled rice/slow cookers and contact 3 Squares to receive a free replacement cooker, including shipping. Call 3 Squares at 800-390-0249 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or online at and click on Recall for more information. About 175,000 units are being recalled, including 100 sold in Canada.

Spill of floor stripper solvent causes evacuation and lockdown of the Walmart in Jasper, Alabama

OCTOBER 21, 2016
JASPER, Ala. (WIAT) — Multiple responders are on the scene at the Jasper Walmart after its evacuation due to a spill, according to Jasper emergency services.

According to Jasper’s Fire Chief, the floors in the store were cleaned this morning, and the leftover chemical buildup was irritating people.

The City of Jasper has stated that the Walmart was evacuated due to ventilation issues with a floor stripper that is an “inhalation irritant.”

Four people went to the hospital in respiratory distress, but are expected to be ok, according to the Fire Chief.

At this time, people are only being allowed to leave from the parking lot. Walmart is closed while crews cleanup the chemicals, which should take “several hours,” according to the City of Jasper Facebook page.

Disaster emergency declared in Centre County, PA after 7 inches of rainfall caused massive flash flooding

The Milesburg and Howard areas were flooded early Friday morning. Jeremy Hartley

OCTOBER 21, 2016
By Jeremy Hartley and Shawn Annarelli

Centre County Commissioners Mike Pipe, Mark Higgins and Steve Dershem have declared a disaster emergency in Centre County.

More than 100 Milesburg and Howard residents were rescued and evacuated due to flooding early Friday morning. Bald Eagle Area High School is being used as a shelter by the American Red Cross for those evacuated.

National Weather Service meteorologist Charles Ross said the area was hit with four to seven inches of rain, though no injuries were reported to authorities.

“People have to be real careful out there,” Ross said. “There’s a lot of water out there. It’s still pretty dangerous travel.”

Centre Daily Times reporter Jeremy Hartley was able to travel as far as Moose Run and Spring Creek in Milesburg before flooded roads became impassable. Flares marked impacted roads and warned drivers to proceed at their own risk.

Robert Holt, a Milesburg resident and Bellefonte police officer, wasn’t spared from the rain as his basement had flooded.

Bald Eagle Area School canceled school.

Bellefonte Area School District has a professional learning day, according to superintendent Michelle Saylor, which means students have a schedule day off. Bellefonte will determine what to do for its homecoming game.

Ross said it may be the ‘worst case of flooding’ in the Milesburg and Howard areas since Hurricane Ivan in 2004. About two more inches of rain could fall Friday morning in Centre County. There is a flood warning until 10:15 a.m.

Heavy rain inundated Central and Eastern Massachusetts Friday night prompting flash flood warnings across the state

Matthew Healey for The Boston Globe

Good Samaritans helped push a car out of flood waters on Washington Street in Worcester on Friday.
By Samantha J. Gross Globe Correspondent October 22, 2016

Heavy rain and thunderstorms swept through Central and Eastern Massachusetts Friday night, prompting flash-flood warnings, closing roads, and stranding motorists across the state.

The fast-moving storm dumped as much as 4 inches of rain on the Central Massachusetts town of Sterling, according to the National Weather Service.

Interstate 290 in Worcester was reduced to one eastbound lane for much of Friday night, according to a State Police spokesman.

Just before 10 p.m., the weather service issued a flash-flood warning for the Boston area that was expected to last until just after midnight.


Heavy Rain Floods Roads In Eastern And Central Mass. October 21, 2016 11:00 PM

WORCESTER (CBS) – Heavy rain inundated Central and Eastern Massachusetts Friday night prompting flash flood warnings across the state.

Some areas got several inches of rain, including Worcester which got more than 5 inches. The city asked people to stay off the roads due to street flooding.

The National Weather Service says there was “significant urban street flooding” throughout Worcester, and several reports of cars stuck in the water.

Route 290 East and West were closed in the Worcester area due to water on the road.

Heavy rain floods Worcester roads (WBZ-TV)

One person shared an image with WBZ showing a driver stuck on flooded Route 2 in Leominster.

WBZ-TV Chief Meteorologist Eric Fisher says Worcester got the most rain in a single day in more than eight years. Friday was also the second wettest October day on record for the city.

Rain totals Friday 10/21/16 (WBZ-TV)

The Flash Flood Warning was in effect until 12:00 a.m. in Essex County, Plymouth County, Norfolk County, Suffolk County and Middlesex County.

A Severe Thunderstorm warning was issued for parts of Norfolk, Suffolk and Middlesex Counties as the storm moved east.