Friday, July 21, 2017

HOMEMADE PLANES TAKE MORE LIVES: Pilot Scott Lee Wilcox killed after his homemade Zenair CH 601 XL Zodiac Lite sport aircraft crashed and burned in a wooded area approximately two miles east of Bradford County Airport in Towanda, Pa.

TOWANDA, PA -- A community in Bradford County is mourning the loss of a father, Air Force veteran, and pilot after a plane crash.

The small, two-passenger plane crashed in a wooded area just outside of Towanda Wednesday afternoon.

Friends tell Newswatch 16 the pilot was Scott Wilcox of Sugar Run.

A father, a martial arts instructor, a decorated veteran. Simply put, Wilcox had done some super things in his life, and that's how his friends say they'll remember him. Many people say he was larger than life.

"I think that most people are going to think about Scott and see that he kind of was a superhero."

"If you knew Scott, you knew he enjoyed life, every minute of it."

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating after a plane crashed on a hillside a few miles from the Towanda airport.

Friends say Wilcox was flying the plane. He was killed.

John Kulick was friends with Wilcox for nearly 30 years. Kulick couldn't help but smile when thinking about Wilcox. He recalls Wilcox as a business owner and a health and fitness enthusiast.

"He tried to talk me into joining the gym. He'd tell me, 'You're gonna get fat,'" Kulick said.

Friends said Wilcox helped train thousands of children and adults over the years. Most recently, he was at The Edge, a martial arts studio in Towanda.

Word of the plane crash came as a shock to Randi Morse and her children who were trained by Wilcox.

"Two of his senseis were here to open the doors as normal. The show didn't slow down, and Scott wouldn't have wanted it to," said Morse. "I think the community is going to miss him an awful, awful lot just because of his bigger than life presence, always pitching in, never too busy to say hello."

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday.

Investigators say it could take more than a year until they know what exactly caused the crash in Bradford County.


The pilot of a single-engine plane was killed Wednesday in a crash near the Bradford County Airport, authorities said.

The Bradford County Coroner's Office confirmed the plane's sole occupant is dead.

Coroner Thomas Carman said officials have a tentative identity of the victim, but won't release the name until his identity is confirmed.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which is leading the investigation, released the following statement:

"A Zodiac Lite sport aircraft crashed in a wooded area approximately two miles east of Bradford County Airport in Towanda, Pa., at about 11:30 a.m. today," the statement from FAA spokesman Jim Peters said. "Check with local authorities for information about the pilot. The FAA will investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause of the accident."

The FAA defines a light sport aircraft as a simple-to-operate, easy-to-fly aircraft with a single reciprocating engine, unpressurized cabin, fixed landing gear, one- or two-person occupancy and maximum flight speed of 138 mph.

Pennsylvania state police at Towanda said they would not provide any information about the crash.

Emergency officials on the scene say they don't know if the plane was taking off or landing at the airport when the crash occurred, according to our broadcast news partner, WENY-TV.

A sign greets visitors to the Bradford County Airport. A plane crashed near the field Wednesday. (Photo: WENY-TV PHOTO)

Woodside Road, which runs behind the airport, was closed to traffic Wednesday afternoon.

The Bradford County Airport is just south of Towanda in central Bradford County.

The airport is operated by the Bradford County Airport Authority, with members appointed by the county commissioners.


MONROE TOWNSHIP -- One person is dead after a plane crashed in a wooded area just miles from the airport outside Towanda Wednesday.

The fire chief of Monroe Hose Company says they had to walk through a wooded area to get to the crash site. The plane was still on fire when they got to it.

The coroner says the pilot was killed. Officials have not released the pilot's name at this time.

According to FAA officials, a Zodiac light sport aircraft crashed in a wooded area about two miles east of the Bradford County Airport near Towanda around 11:30 a.m.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate what led to the crash.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.


Details on aircraft involved in fatal Bradford County crash

By Cara Demers, Reporter/Anchor
Connect Jul 20, 2017 5:55 PM EST

PAINTED POST (WENY) -- There are still dozens of questions surrounding Wednesday's fatal plane crash in Bradford County. One thing we do know is the type of plane that went down.

The plane was a Zodiac CH-601. That model is described as a light sport aircraft.

The manufacturer's website says it's an affordable plane typically flown by sport pilots or for strict recreational use.

It was a two-seater plane with a fixed wing single-engine.

According to the FAA registry, it was registered to Scott Lee Wilcox.

Earlier models were typically ready-kit planes, meaning they could be bought and then constructed at home. It wasn't until a few years ago that these planes began being constructed in factories.

"That particular design was originally manufactured as an experimental in Europe," says Jim Doane, Pilot and Instructor at Costa Flying Services. "It recently, over the past couple of years, has reached a popularity where it's being manufactured in a factory in, I believe it's Georgia."

There has no been confirmed cause of the crash as of right now.

The aircraft involved in the accident was previously registered in Florida.

Although it hasn't been confirmed this particular plane did come from a kit, it was manufactured back in 2007--meaning it very well could have been constructed at home.


Date: 19-JUL-2017
Time: 11:30 LT
Zenair CH 601 XL Zodiac
Owner/operator: Private
Registration: N601PH
C/n / msn: 601-040S
Fatalities: Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities: 0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location: 2 miles east of Bradford County Airport (N27), Towanda, PA - United States of America


Departure airport:

Destination airport:

The Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) crashed in a wooded area. There was a post impact fire. Emergency parachute of the plane was released.
The pilot was deadly injured.


Fire deaths rose 36% in Minnesota during the first 6 months of 2017

An increase in Minnesota fire deaths the first half of this year has firefighters concerned.

Fire deaths rose 36 percent in Minnesota during the first 6 months of 2017, according to State Fire Marshal Bruce West. There have been 30 deaths so far this year, outpacing the average from the first half of the previous five years, 26.8 deaths.

Though the preliminary data doesn’t show a leading cause, West said most fatal fires are caused by human behavior.

“We just want people to be aware of what they’re doing, to be aware of the increase, and to show a little extra care,” West said.

Typically, careless smoking causes the most fatal fires in Minnesota. While smoking this year so far has only been identified as the cause of one fatal fire, most of the cases remain under investigation. Other causes include an unattended portable heater, cooking grease, suicide and careless open burning. Three of the fires — 10 percent — were from gas leaks.

“There’s no real trend (in the overall numbers),” West said. “We see peaks and valleys. One year we have a reduction, the next year we might have a peak. Careless smoking continues to be the number one cause overall.” Flowers are placed in the fence in front of a four-plex at 1035 Arkwright Street in St. Paul in January. A fatal fire at the building Wednesday killed Tiffany Alexander, 27. Relatives said her 2-year-old son William, severely injured in the fire, had also died. (Scott Takushi / Pioneer Press)

Fires are consistently more common in the winter time, particularly in the holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. This year, all but four took place before May. The most recent fatal fire, a house fire in Maplewood, was the only fire death in June.

The data is too preliminary to determine if the total number of fires in Minnesota has changed this year.

The average age of the victim was 60 years old. Fire fatalities have occurred all over the state, including three in Minneapolis, two in St. Paul, and one each in Brooklyn Park, Maplewood, Mound, Roseville and Wayzata.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Boater Anthony J. Jarab, 24, killed after a 22-foot Mako center-console fishing boat crashed into a channel marker in Choctawhatchee Bay near Crab Islad in Florida

OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WEAR) — An overnight boat crash near Crab Island claimed one life, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office.

The crash happened around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to the OCSO's public information officer.

One of four passengers aboard a 22-foot boat was reported dead, according to Karen Parker with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), after an apparent crash into a channel marker in Choctawhatchee Bay.

Two of the other three passengers were reportedly taken to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, where Parker said they were treated and released.

OCSO deputies say they responded to help render aid and that the incident is being investigated by FWC.

Updates will be provided as details from the crash emerge.


The boat Anthony J. Jarab was riding on crashed into a channel marker in Choctawhatchee Bay.

DESTIN — A Niceville man died early Wednesday when the boat he was riding on crashed into a channel marker in Choctawhatchee Bay.

Anthony J. Jarab, 24, died at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center.

He was a passenger in a boat being operated by 34-year-old Jackie C. Mott of Valparaiso, according to the preliminary report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Two women on the boat — 18-year-old Madison R. William of Niceville and 32-year-old Amber Doolan of Dripping Springs, Texas — were injured in the crash, the FWC said.

The 22-foot Mako center console fishing boat had passed Crab Island at 12:36 a.m. and was heading into Choctawhatchee Bay when Mott started to accelerate.

“The operator yelled at the two occupants seated on the bow to come off the bow,” the FWC report said. “Shortly after that the vessel struck a channel marker.”

The impact threw Jarab, one of those seated on the bow, onto the deck near the center console, the report said. The two women were treated and released from Fort Walton Beach Medical Center.

The boat was towed to Destin Marina. When marina employees arrived Wednesday morning, they found FWC investigators had loaded it onto a trailer in the parking lot.

“The front was pretty smashed,” marina Manager Chris White said.

He said there are two large channel markers, which he described as a “substantial sign” on a big pole, in the middle of the water. One has a large red sign and the other has a green sign.

“The red one is the one they hit,” he said. “The impact of it threw some people around.”

The accident is under investigation.
Wednesday’s crash was the second fatal boating accident this year. A 19-year-old Texas tourist died June 28 in Choctawatchee Bay when the personal watercraft she was operating collided with a 30-foot boat.

A fire in a north Fresno home that claimed the life of one person was likely started by a cigarette or other lit tobacco product

The cause of a deadly Fresno house fire could be ‘smoking material’

By Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado

A fire in a north Fresno home that claimed the life of one person was likely started by a cigarette or other lit tobacco product, investigators said.

Fresno Fire Department spokesman Hector Vasquez said a fire investigator had narrowed the cause of the fire to “some type of smoking material” like a cigarette.

The person killed, believed to be a man in his 60s, has not been identified.

The fire started in a bedroom toward the back of the home on West Brier Circle Court. Firefighters were dispatched just after 3 a.m. Sunday When engines arrived, firefighters couldn’t immediately enter the home due to the flames. After the fire was extinguished, a dead man was found in a back room where the blaze started.

According to, Richard Logan, 84, and Alice Logan, 62, own the home.

Vasquez said Sunday that Alice Logan had tried to rescue her brother after she was alerted by smoke alarms that the fire had started. In the process, she suffered smoke inhalation and was taken to a nearby hospital.

Community Medical Centers spokeswoman Mary Lisa Russell confirmed Monday that Alice Logan was treated and released from the hospital. Richard Logan was not injured in the fire, according to Vasquez.

Other homes nearby were not damaged, but Vasquez said the Logans’ house was uninhabitable because of the fire. On Sunday, workers were boarding it up. Total damage was estimated at about $100,000.


1 dead in northwest Fresno house fire

By Jessica Johnson

A man in his 60s died in a northwest Fresno house fire early Sunday.

The fire, one of three that kept firefighters busy overnight, was reported about 3:15 a.m. at 202 W. Brier Circle, just west of Woodward Park, according to Fresno Fire Department spokesman Hector Vasquez.

The first of five engines arrived to the scene within four minutes and confirmed there was a man trapped in a bedroom near the back of the house where the fire started. Rescuers need about 15 minutes to contain the fire before safely entering the bedroom, where they found the man dead. Vasquez said the cause of his death remains unknown.

Working smoke alarms were present in the house and are credited in notifying the victim’s sister who is in her mid 50s. Vasquez said she tried to rescue her brother and in the process, suffered smoke inhalation. She was taken to a nearby hospital.

No nearby structures were involved, but Vasquez said the house is uninhabitable because of the fire. On Sunday, workers were boarding it up. Fire investigators estimated the total damage at about $100,000.

The other two fires were reported near Belmont and Trinity avenues northwest of Kerman about 6 a.m. Sunday and at 2838 E. Simpson Ave. in central Fresno about 10 p.m. Saturday. No other details were available on the Kerman-area fire; the Simpson fire involved a vacant home.

Rapid Progression of Black Lung Disease Highlights Need for Regular Screening of Coal Miners

Rapid Progression of Black Lung Disease Highlights Need for Regular Screening of Coal Miners

Many coal miners who initially had a normal imaging test developed the most severe form of coal-dust—related lung disease within 21 years, and some within 10 years, according to a recent NIOSH study published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine. These findings highlight the importance of regular chest imaging, or radiography, and lung function tests for all coal miners.

Work-related lung disease among coal miners, also known as black lung disease, results from breathing in coal mine dust, which causes inflammation and scarring, or fibrosis, in the lungs. Coal mine dust can also cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. Regular screening is critical to catch early stages of black lung disease so that steps can be taken to prevent progression to severe disease. In the United States, coal miners are entitled to receive free screening when they start working in the industry and about every 5 years after that for as long as they keep working in coal mining. NIOSH recommends that miners take advantage of this important opportunity.

Black lung disease is severe, often deadly, and has no cure. It is also entirely preventable by avoiding exposure to coal dust. After decades of decline, however, the occurrence of advanced black lung disease, known as progressive massive fibrosis, recently began to climb, especially in central Appalachia.

To understand this increase, NIOSH investigators analyzed data from the Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program. The NIOSH program provides the opportunity for all current coal miners to receive confidential health screenings at no cost to the miner. The investigators identified 192 miners who developed severe lung disease after the year 2000 and who had received at least two chest radiographs. It was found that most of these miners had a normal initial radiograph before progressing to severe lung disease nearly 21 years later, on average. Although almost half of the miners progressed from normal to severe lung disease in more than 20 years, 16.6% progressed in less than 10 years, and 35% in 11–20 years. Participants’ average age at the beginning of the study was 29 years, and all were male. Most worked in Kentucky, Virginia, or West Virginia.

The NIOSH mobile testing unit depicted above provides confidential health screenings at no cost to miners as part of the Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program. Photo from NIOSH.

More information is available:
Radiographic Disease Progression in Contemporary U.S. Coal Miners with Progressive Massive Fibrosis
NIOSH Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program
NIOSH Respiratory Health Division

Injuries among nursing home workers significantly decreased after the start of a safety program that included mechanical lifting equipment

Lifting Equipment Linked to Fewer Injuries among Nursing Home Workers

Injuries among nursing home workers significantly decreased after the start of a safety program that included mechanical lifting equipment and training on how to use it, according to a NIOSH-funded study at the University of Massachusetts Lowell published in the journal Safety Science.
Compared to workers in other occupations, nursing home workers have a higher rate of work-related injury to the muscles and bones. In fact, musculoskeletal injury results in more days of work missed among nursing home workers than among construction workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Often, these injuries result from tasks that involve manually lifting or moving nursing home residents. Consequently, occupational safety and health specialists are interested in whether mechanical lifting equipment can help reduce injury and protect workers.
For this 8-year study, investigators compared injury rates from before a safety program began to after the program had been in place for 6 years. Started by a large healthcare corporation to reduce musculoskeletal injuries, the program included purchasing mechanical lifting equipment and training workers to use it. The program also provided the nursing homes with detailed procedures for using and maintaining the equipment.
Using workers’ compensation claims, the investigators compared injury rates for 136 nursing homes in 11 states employing 18,571 full-time employees annually, on average. Claims related to resident handling decreased by 32% within the first 3 years of the study and by 38% within 4 to 6 years. Overall, injury claims decreased in 72% of participating centers after 6 years, and resident-handling claims decreased by 82%. Based on these findings, the investigators concluded that mechanical lifting equipment helped reduce injuries among the nursing home workers in this study. Since injuries still occurred, however, more research is necessary to understand the causes and prevention of musculoskeletal injury among nursing home workers.
More information is available:

Injury rates before and after the implementation of a safe resident handling program in the long-term care sector


  • WC claim rates were evaluated pre- and six years post-SRHP in 136 nursing homes.
  • There were reductions in injury rates in at least 70% of centers post-SRHP.
  • Claims related to resident handling were reduced by about one-third.
  • Benefits were most pronounced for lifting residents in/out of bed, chair or toilet.
  • SRHP transfer from a 3rd party to the employer did not impact reduced WC claims.


Manual resident handling (RH) tasks increase risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) for clinical staff in nursing homes. To reduce the incidence and cost of MSDs, a large healthcare corporation instituted a Safe Resident Handling Program (SRHP) comprising purchase of mechanical lifting equipment, worker training, and detailed usage/maintenance protocols. The program was initially administered by a third-party company; after three years, program responsibility shifted to individual centers.

Workers’ compensation claim rates were compared before and after SRHP implementation. Claims and FTEs were classified as “pre-SRHP,” “first post period” (up to 3 years post-SRHP), or “second post period” (4–6 years post-SRHP), based on claim date relative to implementation date for each center.
Complete data were available for 136 nursing homes with average annual employment of 18,571 full-time equivalents. Over the 8-year period, 22,445 claims were recorded. At each time period, the majority of RH claims affected the back (36% low, 15% other) and upper extremity (26%).

 Workers’ compensation claims were reduced by 11% during the first post period and 14% during the second post period. RH-related claims were reduced by 32% and 38%, respectively. After six years, the rate for all claims had decreased in 72% of centers, and RH claim rates decreased in 82%. Relative risk for post-/pre-SRHP injury rates increased for centers with less developed wellness programs, unionized centers, and centers with higher LPN turnover pre-SRHP. Injury reduction among these nursing home workers is plausibly attributable to the introduction of mechanical lifting equipment within the context of this multi-faceted SRHP.


Intervention studies
Safe resident handling program
Healthcare ergonomics
Musculoskeletal disorders
Workers’ compensation claims

DRUNKS AND SPEEDSTERS PAY THE PIPER: Driver and passenger of a speeding Honda Civic critically injured after the driver blew a red light and was crushed by a Murray Hill, NY DOT Mack truck

Speeding car slams into DOT truck and cab in Murray Hill, critically injuring two

  Highway officers investigate an accident on 34th St. and Third Ave. in Manhattan early Wednesday morning. (Vic Nicastro/for New York Daily News)
BY Sarah Gabrielli Adam Shrier Thomas Tracy
Updated: Wednesday, July 19, 2017, 3:27 PM

A speeding Honda slammed into a city Department of Transportation tractor-trailer in Murray Hill early Wednesday, sparking a massive crash that sent three people to the hospital — two in critical condition.

The Honda was speeding north on Third Ave. about 2:30 a.m. when it struck the front cab of the large Mack truck.

The force of the impact obliterated the Honda, witnesses said. A yellow cab parked near the intersection was also damaged in the collision.

Witnesses said the Honda had just blown a red light when it was nearly flattened.

“The semi truck hit it and pretty much ran over it,” said Larry Washington, 30, a porter at a nearby hotel. “(The Honda) was crushed. The police ... they had to cut the top of the car off.”

Medics rushed the driver and the passenger of the Honda to Bellevue Hospital, where they were in critical but stable condition.
  The Honda was speeding north on Third Ave. about 2:30 a.m. when it struck the front cab of the large Mack truck. (Vic Nicastro/for New York Daily News)

A cabbie sitting in the taxi when it was struck was taken to New York University Langone Medical Center with serious injuries.

The driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured, cops said.

Murray Hill resident Kavita Sapra, 56, woke up to see the carnage from her window.

“I see the top of the car and the truck,” she said. “It was all mangled, flattened on the street.”

“They have poor regulations here,” Sapra said about driving regulations in Murray Hill. “Drivers get confused. I'm not surprised (by the accident).” Charges are expected to be filed against the driver of the Honda, a police source said.


MURRAY HILL, NY – A sedan speeding on Third Avenue got into a nasty accident with a Department of Transportation truck, injuring several people early Wednesday in Murray Hill, police said.

The Honda Civic blew at least one red light while driving north toward 34th Street, where a city truck passing under a green light hit the sedan, cops said. 

The Civic and a nearby parked taxi were sent hurtling 300 feet, according to the NYPD.

The driver of the sedan was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he went into cardiac arrest and was revived, the Daily News reported.

A passenger in the Civic and the drivers of the truck and the cab were treated for minor injuries at NYU Medical Center and released, cops said.

Authorities added that investigators would determine the speed the Civic was driving at the time of the crash.

“[The] Honda was going at least a hundred miles an hour — running red lights, going uptown on Third — when he got to the corner of 34th, the truck had the green light and just ran right into the Honda,” a witness told the New York Post.

A fifth worker who was injured in an accident at Tampa Electric’s Big Bend Power Plant has died. Armando Perez, 56, died of injuries he sustained from the accident

Armando Perez, 56, died of injuries he sustained from the accident.

BRACE Industrial Group said its employee, Armando Perez, 56, died of injuries he sustained from the accident. Molten slag, a substance that can reach temperatures upwards of 1,000 degrees, gushed from a containment tank, authorities said, burning those in the vicinity.

"Our heartfelt prayers and sympathy are extended to his family and friends as we keep our primary focus on supporting our employees and their families during this difficult time," the company said in a statement Thursday.

Only one person who was injured by the slag remains alive: Gary Marine Jr., 32.

Senior plant operator Michael McCort, 60, and contract worker Christopher Irvin, 40, died at the scene. Another BRACE employee, Antonio "Marro" Navarrete, 21, died a week after the accident. Frank Lee Jones, 55, Marine Jr.'s stepfather, died three days after Navarette.

GoFundMe pages have been set up for Navarette and Perez, BRACE confirmed.


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A fifth worker who was injured in an accident at Tampa Electric’s Big Bend Power Plant has died.

BRACE Industrial Group said Thursday that Armando Perez has passed away. BRACE Industrial released the following statement:

“We are very saddened to report that BRACE employee Armando Perez has died as a result of injuries suffered during the incident at Tampa Electric’s Big Bend power plant on June 29. Our heartfelt prayers and sympathy are extended to his family and friends as we keep our primary focus on supporting our employees and their families during this difficult time.”

Gofundme pages have been created for Armando Perez as well as Antonio Navarrete, who was another Brace employee who was fatally injured in the incident.

Other workers who died from injuries suffered in the accident include Frank Lee Jones, Christopher Irvin, and Michael McCort.

The accident happened Thursday, June 29. The workers were burned during an accident that happened when they were performing routine maintenance on a slag tank, which houses coal waste after it’s burned. Slag is a glass-like product that’s formed when coal mixes with water.

The cause of the deadly fire at the Chesapeake Crossing Senior Community Apartments was at least one lightning strike


Fire officials on Tuesday identified one of the victims who died in a fatal fire at a senior living complex as 61-year-old Cynthia Martenis.

Three people died, six were injured and more than 150 displaced in the four-alarm blaze early Saturday at Chesapeake Crossing Senior Community Apartments.

Fire Chief Edmund Elliott told council members Tuesday evening that the cause was at least one lightning strike, if not more.

The fire started high up in the complex, possibly in the attic, although firefighters may not be able to pinpoint the point of origin given the extent of the damage, fire spokesman Capt. Scott Saunders said.

There were no sprinklers in the attic, and the complex was not required to have them there, he said.

The complex had sprinklers with an audible alarm in the living areas of the buildings and smoke detectors in each unit. It did not have a separate fire alarm system but was not required to under building codes when the apartments were constructed in the ’90s, according to the fire department.

Just after 4:30 a.m. Saturday, firefighters were called to the independent-living complex in the 1900 block of Robert Hall Blvd., near Battlefield Boulevard and Military Highway.

First responders arrived to find people who were trapped or unaware of the fire, Elliott told council members at Tuesday’s work session. Firefighters and police officers forced their way into some apartments and carried residents “literally from their beds” to safety, he said.

Some trapped residents were rescued from their windows by ground ladder, Elliott said. Others were evacuated with walkers, canes and scooters. Crews had the fire under control shortly before 7 a.m.

City Manager James Baker told council members it was the third significant fire that day, including a multiple alarm blaze in southern Chesapeake.

The three people who died were found in different areas of the complex, and two have yet to be publicly identified. The six who were hospitalized, including two firefighters, have since been released, according to the fire department.

Some 144 apartments were deemed uninhabitable. Elliott said 25 residents remain in hotel rooms until more permanent housing can be found. Work has begun to move residents back into the unburned units, and 36 people are expected to go home today. Another 36 should return by early next week, he said. About 60 units will be needed for permanent or long-term housing for residents who lived in the three buildings completely destroyed by the fire, he said.

Saunders said there are “too many variables” to know whether sprinklers in the attic would have affected the outcome. When fires strike high, above the sprinklers, they can sometimes disable the systems, rendering them inoperable, he said.

The complex had a National Fire Protection Association 13R sprinkler system, which Saunders said is common for hotels and apartments of this size, up to four stories tall. Such a system covers large living areas but not necessarily unoccupied spots such as attics, small bathrooms and closets.

The system is designed to allow people to escape but not necessarily extinguish the fire, Saunders said.

Facilities that are more than four stories tall generally require a different sprinkler system throughout the entire building, he said.

TEMP WORKERS DIE AT RECORD NUMBERS: Dalton Rodriguez, 26, electrocuted to death at EP Minerals' Celatom Plant in Vale, Oregon

VALE, Oregon -- A young worker was killed in an accident at a mining facility in eastern Oregon Friday.

According to the Malheur County Sheriff's Office, 26-year-old Dalton Rodriguez was working on the property of EP Minerals' plant in Vale when he was electrocuted.

Sheriff Brian Wolfe said Rodriguez was changing 30-foot hand aluminum pipes in handline sprinklers when one of the poles came in contact with an overhead power line, electrocuting him.

Rodriguez was taken by ambulance to Saint Alphonsus Medical Center in Ontario, but did not survive.

Wolfe said Rodriguez was working for Idaho-based temp agency American Staffing, but could not confirm whether he had been contracted by EP Minerals. The company's Vale plant, located west of town on Graham Boulevard, mines diatomaceous earth.

The sheriff's office has concluded its investigation, and no charges have been filed against the company. 

Here is some info from Dalton's Facebook pages:

someone whos wanting to enjoy the lil things
  • Studied at Treasure Valley Community College
  • Went to Red Bluff Union High School
  • Lives in Vale, Oregon
  • Single
  • From Grants Pass, Oregon
  • Joined December 2016

The Celatom Plant in Vale, Oregon mines Diatomaceous Earth (DE) and has two DE calcining lines.

The City of Vale is a town rich with Eastern Oregon history. Incorporated as a town in 1889, the location was in use for many years previously, first by explorers then trappers and finally travelers and emigrants along the Oregon Trail. The hot springs made it a popular stopping location. It is in Malheur County, about 12 miles (19 km) west of the Idaho border.

Today, Vale is still a popular stopping place for travelers. Besides exploring the history of the Oregon Trail, there are many destinations for hunting (especially pheasants), fishing and camping.

Celatom Plant
2630 Graham Blvd.
Vale, OR 97918

A construction worker for Schuff Steel injured following a 15-foot fall after a piece of decking partially dislodged at the site of Facebook’s Building 21 in Menlo Park, CA

Less than three months after two workers on a new Facebook building were injured in a fall, a third worker was hurt after he fell about 15 feet Tuesday, according to a fire official.

Menlo Park firefighters responded to Facebook’s Building 21, which is going up along Bayfront Expressway in Menlo Park, at 8:35 a.m. A construction worker for Schuff Steel had fallen from steel framing on the fourth floor to nearly the third floor, after a piece of decking or steel he stepped on partially dislodged.

The man’s safety harness and rigging stopped his descent before he touched down on the third floor, according to a news release. Schuff Steel is a subcontractor for Level 10 Construction, the project’s general contractor.

Fire Capt. Jason Martin, first on scene at 8:39 a.m., determined the worker was in significant pain and suffered bruises and abrasions from the plunge. Before Martin arrived, fellow steel workers unclipped the injured man from his rigging and laid him on the floor. Firefighters then immobilized the man, who was conscious, to protect his cervical spine before he was transported to Stanford’s trauma center.

“This is the second time we’ve been out here in the last three months for injured Steel Workers falling from the building,” Menlo Park Fire Protection District Chief Harold Schapelhouman said in a statement. “That’s not only very unusual but it deeply concerns me.”

On April 26, two Schuff workers were injured when a steel beam they were standing on fell roughly 20 feet. At the time, Schapelhouman said their injuries could have been far worse, referring to the way the beam fell, catching on a lower floor assembly on the way down.


For the second time in a matter of months, a construction worker was injured after falling at the site of an under-construction Facebook building in Menlo Park, according to the Menlo Park Fire Protection District.

The latest incident occurred Tuesday morning when a worker, who was wearing his safety harness and rigging, fell 10 to 15 feet from the steel framing on the building's fourth floor, according to fire officials.

"Fortunately, the steel worker was wearing his safety harnesses and rigging, which probably helped to prevent significant injury or even death," Menlo Park Fire Protection District Chief Harold Schapelhouman said in a statement.

The worker experienced significant pain and suffered both bruises and cuts, fire officials said. He was transported to a nearby hospital.

Worker Injured After Fall at Facebook Construction Site
For the second time in a matter of months, a construction worker was injured after falling at the site of an under-construction Facebook building in Menlo Park, according to the Menlo Park Fire Protection District. Bob Redell reports.(Published Wednesday, July 19, 2017)

The worker was walking along a piece of decking or steel when it was dislodged, sending the worker plummeting toward the third flood, according to fire officials. The worker's safety gear managed to catch him just before slamming into the floor.

Using a 107-foot-long aerial ladder, firefighters managed to lower the worker to the ground where an ambulance was waiting, according to fire officials.

Back in April, two other workers were injured at the same building after falling about 20 feet. Those workers were also wearing safety equipment that stopped them before they could actually hit the ground.

"This is the second time we’ve been out here in the last three months for injured steel workers falling from the building," Schapelhouman said in a statement. "That’s not only very unusual, but it deeply concerns me."

Schuff Steel is one of the largest, most trusted and most experienced structural steel fabricators and erectors in America, consistently ranked by Engineering News-Record (ENR) magazine as the #1 Steel Erector in the U.S. At Schuff Steel we approach each project with a “builder” mindset, planning the project with the construction of the building in mind, and working backwards through erection, fabrication, project management and design.

Schuff Steel operates 7 fabrication plants across the U.S. with over 1 million sq-ft under roof and over 300,000 tons of annual fabrication capacity, and manages a vast network of quality sub-fabricators to support the needs of very large projects.