Friday, February 24, 2017

2 people are hospitalized after fire ripped through the Ramada Inn hotel in Vineland, New Jersey

VINELAND, N.J. (WPVI) -- Two people are hospitalized, including a police officer, after a two-alarm blaze that heavily damaged the Ramada Inn in Vineland, New Jersey.

The fire began around 2 a.m. Friday on the 2200 block of West Landis Avenue.

Large flames were showing from the roof of the rear wing of the building when crews arrived.

Watch raw video of the Ramada Inn fire recorded by Action News viewer Gil Aponte.

The flames traveled above in an attic space and throughout the hallways.

"The first thing I do is grab what I could grab, threw some clothes on, grab my bag and get out of there," said guest Marcus Cornwall of Georgia.

Some occupants were attempting to jump and had to be rescued.

The Vineland Fire Chief, Robert Pagnini said, "They were hanging out of windows and throwing their belongings out the windows."

February 24, 2017 - Firefighters battled a two-alarm blaze at the Ramada Inn in Vineland, Cumberland County.

Firefighters realized they were in for a tough fight and called in for extra help from the surrounding areas.

It took them more than two and a half hours to get the blaze under control.

Officials say the fire appears to have started in room 248 on the second floor. That is a smoking room, but it was not known if smoking played a role.

The female occupant of that room was injured in the blaze and has not been able to talk to police.

Meanwhile, the injured police officer suffered smoke inhalation and is expected to be okay.

One guest visiting from Dublin, Ireland spoke to Action News about the scary moments as he got out of the hotel.

"My door gets knocked on, I open the door, it was the police telling us to get out, get out," said Brendan O'Meara.

O'Meara was one of the guests who said it was police and firefighters pounding on their doors that alerted them, not a fire alarm.

"Firefighter guys outside the door said 'Get out,'" said O'Meara. "I didn't hear the fire alarm. That was the amazing thing, there was no fire alarm," he said.

The fire only damaged one portion of the hotel, and the rest was still open as normal on Friday.

In fact, the facility will host a wedding on Saturday.

A manhole fire injured two Con Edison workers in Brooklyn, NYC

Friday, February 24, 201

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A manhole fire injured two Con Edison workers and caused a localized power outage in Downtown Brooklyn late Thursday.

A service box under State Street caught fire just before midnight.

Two Con Edison workers who were working on smoking manholes at the time they were injured. They were treated and released from Long Island College Hospital.

As many as six buildings on the street were left without power by the repairs, including 21,25 and 27 State St.; and 48,49 and 51 Willow St.

Additionally, the windows of a nearby parking garage were damaged.

All customers had power restored by 5:30 a.m. Friday.

Jonnathan Santos of Manhasset is charged with second-degree vehicular manslaughter and driving while impaired following a multi-car crash on the Long Island Expressway in Woodbury that left one person dead.

Long Island man arrested after multi-car crash on LIE in Woodbury leaves 1 dead

WOODBURY, Long Island (WABC) -- A man is under arrest following a multi-car crash on the Long Island Expressway in Woodbury that left one person dead.

The vehicles collided in the eastbound lanes at exit 44 just before 11:50 p.m. Thursday.

One of the vehicles hit a guard rail, ejecting a passenger, who was pronounced deceased at the scene. The victim's identity has not yet been released.

Police arrested 20-year-old Jonnathan Santos of Manhasset.

He is charged with second-degree vehicular manslaughter and driving while impaired.

Eastbound lanes were closed at exit 44 for the investigation. They reopened around 6 a.m.

The investigation is ongoing.

Twelve people have been displaced following a 2-alarm fire on 178 Concord St. in Lowell, Massachusetts

Twelve people have been displaced following a 2-alarm fire on 178 Concord St. in Lowell, Massachusetts on Friday morning.

Firefighters battled the blaze from outside the multi-unit home.

Eyewitness Erika Abendano said, "It woke me up. My mom said call 911 and I went outside people were running out the house."

All twelve residents escaped safely and no injuries were reported.

Fire officials credited working smoke detectors in helping to get everyone out of the building.

"The smoke detectors made a huge difference. Working smoke detectors. Everyone got out," said Chief Jeff Winward

The street is full of tightly packed homes. Firefighters managed to keep the flames from spreading. Still, buildings on either side saw some heat damage - siding melting right off of one home.

Just last week, around the same time, firefighters battled another large fire in which a toddler lost his life.

The cause of the fire is still officially under investigation. The owner of the property said it was electrical and began in the front of the second floor.

Home construction worker died after he fell from the roof of a house under construction on Powder Point Avenue in Duxbury, Mass.

DUXBURY, Mass. – Police have identified Eric Anthony of Hanover as the worker who died Tuesday after he fell from the roof of a house under construction on Powder Point Avenue.

Lt. Nicholas Chubb said Wednesday that Anthony, who was 52, fell from the roof of the house at 326 Powder Point Ave. shortly before 7:45 a.m. Tuesday.

Anthony was unconscious but breathing when first responders arrived, Duxbury Fire Chief Kevin Nord said Tuesday. Chubb said Anthony was taken to South Shore Hospital in Weymouth and died there.

The incident is being investigated by Duxbury and State Police detectives and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The house where Anthony fell is a few hundred feet from the Powder Point Bridge, which leads to Long Island and Duxbury Beach.

Ted Fitzgerald, a spokesman for OSHA's Boston office, said the department began an inspection of the job site Tuesday.

"The inspection is ongoing," Fitzgerald said.

The agency has up to six months to conduct its review.


By The Patriot Ledger

DUXBURY – A worker died after a fall at a construction site at 326 Powder Point Ave. on Tuesday morning, according to police.

Duxbury police and fire responded at 7:45 a.m. to reports that a worker had been injured after they fell from the roof of a house under construction. When first responders arrived he was unconscious but breathing, fire Chief Kevin Nord said.

The victim was transported to South Shore Hospital where he later died. Fire Chief Kevin Nord estimated the man to be in his 50s.

The incident is under investigation by Duxbury and State Police detectives, as well as Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators, police said.

"Right now we aren't releasing any more information on the fall or the victim," Duxbury Police Lt. Lewis Chubb said.

ANOTHER BACKOVER DEATH: A 69-year-old construction worker with Nitz Construction was crushed to death by a backing gravel truck at a construction site adjacent to LifeChurch Assembly of God in Williston, ND


A 69-year-old construction worker died Wednesday morning as a result of an accident at a work site in Williston.

The man, whose identity is not being released until his extended family has been notified, suffered multiple injuries after he was hit by a gravel truck at a site near the intersection of 26th Street West and 18th Street West.

He was pronounced dead a short time later at CHI St. Alexius Health Medical Center in Williston.

The man was on foot at a construction site adjacent to LifeChurch Assembly of God when the truck backed into him around 8:45 a.m., according to police.

He was working on the site of a planned expansion of the church and its parking lot, according to Williston’s Department of Building Safety.

A statement is expected from Nitz Construction, the firm overseeing the project, a construction superintendent said, but it had not been released by late Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for the man’s employer, Sundre Sand and Gravel, said the company had no comment.

There are no charges pending, but an investigation is ongoing, Lt. Detective Amy Nickoloff of the Williston Police Department said.

A call made to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was not returned by late Wednesday, although the organization has told at least one company involved that it will begin an investigation on Thursday.

California flood damages exceed $600 million, costs are mounting for other badly damaged infrastructure just two months into 2017.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The bill to repair California's roadways hammered by floods and rockslides in an onslaught of storms this winter has reached nearly $600 million, more than double what the state budgeted for such emergencies, and the costs are mounting for other badly damaged infrastructure just two months into 2017.

Recent storms buckled a section of highway in the Sierra Nevada between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe, causing the shoulder to collapse.

Repairs are estimated at $6.5 million. In the scenic Yosemite Valley, only one of three main routes through the national park's major attraction is open because of damage or fear the road could give out from cracks and seeping water, rangers said.

On the coast, an entire section of highway running through the Santa Cruz mountains washed out in what's estimated to be one of the state's most expensive road projects so far this year, at $15 million.

California officials say they have not put a final price tag on damage to other infrastructure this year, including repairs at Oroville Dam, the nation's tallest, whose spillways threatened to collapse and flood communities downstream. Early estimates put the fixes at least $200 million.

Emergency crews are still busy making repairs statewide and will tally the costs once things dry out.

"We have so many disasters going on at one time," said Kelly Huston of the California Office of Emergency Services. "We're not at a point where we can give a good dollar amount."

Several more weeks remain in California's wet season, which brings the potential for more costly infrastructure damage. Officials at the California Department of Transportation update their tally of needed roadwork each day.

The agency responsible for maintaining California's highways, roads and overpasses has a $250 million reserve fund, far short of the cost to fix damage from recent storms.

"This is for 2017," Caltrans spokeswoman Vanessa Wiseman said. "So, essentially we're talking only two months."

Storms at both ends of the state have wrecked more than 350 roads, shutting down traffic on at least 35 that await work to rebuild or shore up stretches that washed out, sunk or got covered in mud and rocks, officials said.

To cover the shortfall for emergency repairs, Caltrans next month will ask the California Transportation Commission for more money, Wiseman said.

Aside from emergency road repairs from storms, Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget identifies a $6 billion annual backlog of maintenance and repairs for California's roads, highways and bridges. Lawmakers and the governor have not been able to agree on how to pay for the repairs.

Local communities hardest hit by flooding say that rebuilding bridges and roads washed out by storms will cost millions of dollars that they don't have.

In San Jose, where storm flooding forced 14,000 residents from their homes this week, officials say they have not yet calculated the cost of the damage. Some people have not returned home yet.

Flooding and storm damage in January cost Sonoma County, north of San Francisco, $12.5 million, mostly for road work. Spokeswoman Jennifer Larocque said the county is requesting federal emergency relief funding.

Dennis Schmidt, Butte County's public works director, said storms that led to an emergency at the Oroville Dam tore out two roads and left potholes that will cost more than $1 million to repair.

He said that will wipe out the county's emergency budget.

"I'm looking out the window, and it's blue skies and sunny," Schmidt said. "We need it for a couple days to get out and patch some potholes. Our residents will greatly appreciate that."

Coyote Creek dropped below flood stage Thursday morning, but flood damage remains for neighborhoods in San Jose, California

Some San Jose residents are coming back to a home they don't recognize, meanwhile thousands of others are still under mandatory evacuations. (KGO-TV)

By Matt Keller
Thursday, February 23, 2017 04:33PM
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Hundreds of people are still waiting to return home after the devastating flooding in San Jose. Coyote Creek dropped below flood stage Thursday morning, but flood damage remains for neighborhoods.

Mandatory evacuations have been reduced in size; they are now in the neighborhoods around the Williams Street Park area, the Rock Springs area and the Old Oakland Road area.

Nordale Avenue continues to sit under water as San Jose Public Works tries to get a pumping station that was damaged in the flood back up and running. Residents on South 20th Street near East William Street were evacuated during the flood. The worst part?

"You were able to see the water coming but you couldn't stop it. You feel so powerless," said Peter Miskin, San Jose resident.

Miskin and his partner, Gary Johnson, and a friend tried to save what they could.

"It was so fast we managed to evacuate the dogs, medications and passports. Everything else stayed," said Miskin.

What was left behind ended up soaking in 7 inches of a mix of water, sewage and chemicals. In the basement, the water has nowhere to go -- creating a costly toxic soup.
"Seasonal clothing, extra supplies, food pantry was down there. Also furnace and air conditioning system is all underneath the house so it's all gone," said Miskin.

The insurance company has told Miskin it could take up to $300,000 to do all the repairs.

"They'll have to remove the flooring, the drywalls, everything. You know the house is not inhabitable. We're advised not to stay here because of the contamination," said Miskin.

Miskin does have flood insurance, but he believes many of his neighbors do not. One woman asked ABC7 where the help was from the city, they're overwhelmed and frustrated and this is still early in the recovery process.

PHOTOS: Flood waters rip through San Jose causing damage, evacuations

Sky7 shows a car immersed in floodwater on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 (left) and again on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017 (right), when floodwaters receded in San Jose, Calif. (KGO-TV)