Threat of Falling Ice Shuts Down Chicago Street

Threat of Falling Ice Shuts Down Chicago Street




A portion of a street in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood was closed Sunday because of the threat of falling ice from a frozen-over high-rise.

A broken sprinkler system on one of the upper floors of a building at 615 S. Wabash covered the exterior wall in ice, according to Chicago police, leaving most of the fire escape frozen over.

Chicago police officers were stationed at both ends of South Wabash Avenue between East Harrison Street and East Balbo Drive, blocking the street to both cars and pedestrians amid a growing concern that the icicles would as temperatures continue to rise after a record cold snap across Chicago.

It’s unclear when the street will be reopened, as authorities remained on the scene and city officials were expected to meet Sunday to formulate a plan to remove the ice.












At Least 23 Hurt In 7-Alarm Fire In The Bronx

At Least 23 Hurt In 7-Alarm Fire In The Bronx

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Nearly two dozen residents and one firefighter were hurt in an early morning seven-alarm fire in the Bronx.

The fire is believed to have started around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday in a furniture store inside a four-story building on the corner of East Tremont Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue. It was brought under control just before 2 p.m.

“They were immediately faced with heavy fire on the first floor,” FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. “That fire was traveling upwards throughout the building.”

The store is on the ground floor with apartments above.

 Residents woke up to thick smoke and flames filling the building.

“I literally slid down the fire escape with my baby,” resident Erica Ortiz told CBS2’s Reena Roy. “I just felt very scared, very scared. I didn’t know whether we was gonna slip when we came out the apartment. The fire department throwing water at the same time as we’re coming down.”

“I opened the door and nothing but black smoke,” resident Allison Douglas said. “I told everybody in the building, ‘Run, run, run. Get out! It’s a fire.’”

Douglas said she awoke to the smoke alarms going off.

“I didn’t wanna die” she said. “I have a lot to live for.”

Another resident escaped the burning building with his three young children.

“The smoke was so heavy. Luckily we reached all the way to the bottom. We couldn’t see anything on the stairs,” the man told 1010 WINS Glenn Schuck. “I came downstairs barefoot, no shirt, nothing. Not even shoes, just my babies. Somebody just lent me his shoes and a sweatshirt.”

Ortiz said a window guard blocked her from using the fire escape.

“Couldn’t kick it off, anything. It was bolted in,” she said.

More than 200 firefighters responders to the scene and first responders had to rescue several trapped residents.

“After I got my mom out and most of the people out, I got trapped so they had to put me up on the roof and get a cherry picker to bring me out,” said resident Johnny Cabrera.

The bitter cold also made fighting the fire difficult. Icicles could be seen forming on the power lines and fire escapes.

The FDNY said 22 residents suffered non-life threatening injuries. One firefighter was also hurt.

Meanwhile, residents who were forced out in the cold were staying warm on a city bus, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.

Fire officials said the building sustained significant damage.

“There’s a lot of water damage because we’ve been pumping a lot of water into this building for several hours,” said FDNY Assistant Chief Roger Sakowich. “We were a little concerned about possible collapse. We do see that some of the second floor did collapse down onto the first floor, so there’s quite a bit of damage.”

The Red Cross said it is helping a dozen families that were displaced.

“It’s horrible. It’s not a good way to start the year,” Ortiz said. “I have a 5-year-old asking me right now are we homeless.”

The fire broke out just days after a deadly blaze killed 12 people in the Bronx. Officials say it was sparked by a 3-year-old boy playing with a stove. His mother then ran out, leaving the apartment door open, which caused the flames to spread quickly.

Tenants told Roy they used that as a learning lesson, making sure to shut their doors.

“With all the fires going on in the Bronx later, we were all alert to it,” said Cabrera.

The cause of Tuesday’s fire is under investigation.

Bronx fire escape was choked with people

Bronx fire escape was choked with people: ‘There was no room,’ says survivor


Survivors of the New York City apartment building that was engulfed in flames Thursday night described their harrowing attempts to escape the blaze.

The deadly fire was sparked by a 3-year-old boy who was playing with a stove on the first floor Thursday evening, city officials said.

One resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told ABC New York station WABC that when he opened the main door to his apartment, he saw a big, black cloud.

He said he then led his four children to the fire escape outside his third-floor apartment, handing them one by one to a firefighter, while he himself waited on the fire escape for about 30 minutes in the frigid air, he said.

The man lost everything in the fire but is grateful for his safety, he said.

“I just thank God,” he said. “… I know nothing’s going to happen to us. I have that faith.”

The burned-out halls of the building are seen in video released by New York fire officials on Friday. Soot and ash cover the hallway and stairwell from floor to ceiling.

Resident Reginald Remnbhanie told WABC that most people were trapped inside the building because the fire escape outside was full of people.

“There was no room for people to come out,” Remnbhanie said.

Resident Emelia Ascheampong was able to evade the fire with her husband and four children through the fire escape, The Associated Press reported. The next day, she was seen outside the building embracing a friend.

“I came out through the window,” resident Matthew Igbinetion told WABC. “Yeah, there was smoke everywhere. I couldn’t see the door. The door was, I couldn’t see the door. Was covered in smoke already.”

Firefighters saved 20 people from windows and fire escapes along the building, WABC reported.

Flames spread into the stairwell and shot up the staircase of the five-story building after the family fled the first-floor apartment where the fire originated and left the door open, officials said.

Seven adults and five children died, officials said.

The deadly fire is New York City’s worst loss of life from a fire in almost 28 years, said New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

Resident Howard Williams, who lives in the basement, lost four family members in the blaze, including his 19-year-old daughter, he told WABC. He and his wife, Elaine Williams, and another family member were able to escape, while another is still in the hospital, WABC reported.

The Red Cross is assisting the survivors of the fire with temporary housing, money, food and clothing, according to WABC.

12 dead, 4 injured in fast-moving fire

12 dead, 4 injured in fast-moving New York City apartment building fire

Bronx apartment fire

Jennifer PeltzAssociated Press

The deadliest residential fire to hit New York City in at least a quarter century swept through a Bronx apartment building Thursday on one of the coldest nights this winter, killing 12 people and leaving four more fighting for their lives, city officials said.

The dead included a child around a year old, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a briefing outside the building.

“We may lose others as well,” he added.

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro called the fire, “historic in its magnitude,” because of the number of lives lost. Excluding the Sept. 11 attacks, it was the worst fire in the city since 87 people were killed at a social club fire in the Bronx in 1990.

“Our hearts go out to every person who lost a loved one here and everyone who is fighting for their lives,” Nigro said.

The blaze broke out on the first floor of a five-story building just before 7 p.m. and quickly ripped through the roughly century-old structure, which stands in a row of similar apartment buildings a block from the grounds of the Bronx Zoo.

Tenants of the building, a mix of native New Yorkers and Latino and African immigrants, scrambled down fire escapes. But the flames moved so fast, spreading through every floor of the building within minutes, that many never made it out of their apartments.

The cause remained under investigation.

About 170 firefighters worked in bone-chilling cold, just 15 degrees, to rescue about a dozen people from the building. Water sprayed from hoses froze on the street.

Thierno Diallo, 59, a security guard originally from Conakry, Guinea, who lives in a ground floor apartment said he was asleep when he heard banging on the door. It took him a moment to realize what was happening.

“Only when I heard people screaming, ‘There’s a fire in the building!'” he said. “I heard somebody, ‘Oh! Fire! Fire! Fire!'”

He ran out in his bathrobe, jacket and sandals.

Kenneth Kodua, 37, said he left his apartment to get food, leaving his roommate behind, and came back to find people fleeing in a panic.

Hours later, he was still trying to find out whether his roommate escaped.

“I tried calling her. I tried calling. No answer,” he said, still clutching his bag of uneaten food. His phone was dead.

Many questions remained in the immediate aftermath of the blaze, including how the fire spread so quickly in a brick building built after catastrophic fires at the turn of the 20th century ushered in an era of tougher enforcement of fire codes.

The building had more than 20 units. It was not new enough that it was required to have modern-day fireproofing, like sprinkler systems and interior steel construction.

Neighborhood resident Robert Gonzalez said a friend who lives in the building was able to get out via the fire escape as another resident fled with five children.

“When I got here, she was crying,” Gonzalez said.

Other witnesses described seeing burned bodies being carried away on stretchers and young girls who had escaped the building standing barefoot outside with no coats.

Windows on some upper floors were smashed and blackened. Displaced residents wrapped in Red Cross blankets were staying warm on city buses, brought in to provide heat.

The death toll surpassed the 10 who died, including nine children, in a four-story home in another part of the Bronx in 2007. That blaze had been sparked by a space heater.

Twum Bredu, 61, arrived in the neighborhood looking for his brother, who had been staying with a family in the building. The family, a husband and wife and four children, got out. But there was no word yet about his brother.

“I’ve been calling his phone, it’s ringing, but nobody picks up,” Bredu said. “He was in his room, and we don’t know what happened.”

Blaze leaves nine injured

Blaze engulfs Bronx building, leaves nine injured

Not Released (NR)

Nine people were injured when a fire erupted inside an apartment on University Ave. at Eames Place in Fordham Manor.




Updated: Saturday, December 9, 2017, 11:21 PM

Nine people were injured Saturday when a fire ripped through a Bronx building, authorities said.

The blaze sparked inside a second-floor apartment on University Ave. at Eames Place in Fordham Manor at 5:07 p.m., the FDNY said.

Flames raged out of the flat’s windows as neighbors scrambled down the fire escape to safety.

Tyrone Lee, 32, said he saw a pregnant woman with a child running out of the apartment where the fire started.

“She was hysterical. They were in the lobby crying and screaming,” he said, adding that they didn’t appear to be hurt.

Lee and several other neighbors tried to douse the flames but the smoke was too heavy.

“We kicked the door open. We had a fire extinguisher. But black smoke poured out.”

Firefighters extinguished the blaze by 5:50 p.m., authorities said.

Neighbors told the Daily News that an infant boy turned blue from smoke inhalation was rushed to the hospital.

Another person was also taken to the hospital for further treatment, authorities said.

Five other people and two firefighters were treated at the scene for non-life threatening injuries, the FDNY said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Three-Alarm Fire Races – Union City (NJ)

Three-Alarm Fire Races Through Union City (NJ) Dwelling on Deputy Chief’s Final Tour





By Ron Jeffers

North Hudson Regional (NJ) firefighters begin their tour of duty at 7:30 a.m. On this day, November 28th, Group 3 prepared to say goodbye to their deputy chief, who was retiring after 44-years of service–but duty called first.

At 7:31 a.m., fire companies were dispatched to a reported fire in the area of Palisade Avenue & Sixth St. Smoke was visible from a distance as responding units were redirected to the 14th Street viaduct, which connects Union City (NJ) with Hoboken. A brush fire sent smoke into the sky. This hard-to-reach fire on the Palisades cliffs took some time to access as firefighters worked to get a hoseline into place and extinguish the flames.

As firefighters were still operating here and at another alarm, at 9:35 a.m. fire control dispatched a full assignment to 910 Kennedy Boulevard, Union City, for a reported structure fire. In coming companies were also informed by fire control that there were reports of people trapped and on fire escapes. Smoke was again visible from a distance.

Upon arrival, firefighters found smoke pushing from a four-story occupied multiple dwelling. There were off-duty firefighters there already assisting in the evacuation. Officials also report that a city police officer was bitten by a dog as he assisted in the evacuation. First Battalion Chief Lenny Calvo transmitted a second-alarm.

Two men were on a fire escape, but the drop latter to the ground did not work. Firefighters set up ground ladders to rescue them. Two women inside the building did not appreciate this means of egress and refused to climb down ladders. After the original body of fire was knocked down in a first-floor apartment, firefighters escorted them out the front door.

Additional ambulances were ordered and a third alarm struck by Deputy Chief Mike Cranwell for additional personnel. Companies still at the brush fire were assisted by city police and sheriff officers by moving hoselines off the viaduct to let those fire companies respond to the fire.

Flames extended upward through a pipe-chase and walls to upper floors of the four-story structure. As firefighters opened up the walls on the second floor above the fire apartment, there was heavy fire showing. The flames were extinguished and the fire was stopped before it could affect the third floor.

Residents were placed into a city police van and the Red Cross was at the scene to offer assistance. The Jersey City Gong Club canteen truck responded with bottled water for the exhausted firefighters, and coffee was offered to the members by the Coach House restaurant, which is located across the street.

When fire units became available they stopped by the 29th Street firehouse to wish Deputy Chief Cranwell the best in his retirement. The chief started his career with the former Union City Fire Department and many retired city firefighters were present. North Hudson Fire Directors Jeff Welz and Mike DeOrio, Fire Control co-Director Joe Isola, and Chief of Department Frank Montagne were also present.

Chief Montagne expressed how D.C. Cranwell was instrumental in improving the department and making conditions safer for all.

trapped on fire escape of burning building

Firefighters rescue people trapped on fire escape of burning building in New Jersey



Firefighters made a dramatic rescue in New Jersey Tuesday morning as they helped people trapped on the fire escape of a burning building.

The third-alarm fire broke out on the first floor of a 4-story building on Kennedy Boulevard in Union City.

The blaze quickly raced through the building when the flames traveled through a void in the walls.

16 families live in the building and all made it out safely but had to make a harrowing escape, as the halls filled with smoke.

They went out to the fire escape but needed help to get down from the building.

“I opened up the door and couldn’t see anything, it was just black smoke,” said resident Jacob Wilkins. “So I broke through the kitchen window and got everybody out onto the fire escape. Once I got onto the fire escape I realized the ladder was jammed, it would not go down so we ended up standing out there. They were breaking windows, glass was falling on top of us. ”

He said firefighters had to cut a fence down in the backyard to put another ladder up to rescue those who were trapped..

“I thought I was gonna die,” said resident Valerie Lee. “It’s pretty bad, and the fire escape don’t even go down and don’t even work, so that’s really bad.”

Union City Mayor Brian Stack says an old firehouse that has been transformed into a shelter will be used to house the displaced families.

The Red Cross will also provide assistance.

Man injured in fall from fire escape

Man injured in fall from fire escape in Pilsen

Sun-Times file photo

About 10 a.m., the 39-year-old man was working on the first-floor fire escape in the 1800 block of South Blue Island when it detached from the building and he fell, according to Chicago Police.

The man was taken to Stroger Hospital, where his condition stabilized, police said.

40 families out of their homes

Fire rips through six-story Hamilton Heights building, forces more than 40 families out of their homes

More than 40 families were forced out of their homes as a massive blaze ripped through their Hamilton Heights apartment building Friday, authorities said.

Gigantic flames could be seen punching through the roof of the building on W. 144th St. and Broadway at about 3:15 p.m., according to the FDNY.

“The one room on the top left corner was completely on fire and the flames were coming out the window,” witness Nadia El Hannari said.


The blaze quadrupled in size as firefighters raced to the scene.


The size of the blaze quadrupled as firefighters raced to the scene.

Row of shops in Inwood engulfed in four-alarm blaze

“Ten minutes later, the next four or five windows, flames were shooting out,” El Hannari said. “It happened so fast.”

Firefighters douse the burning building Friday night with water.

Firefighters douse the burning building Friday night with water.


Firefighters “were on the fire escape breaking windows on the second floor and climbing in,” she said.

The burning roof collapsed into the top floor as the fire raged on, officials said.

The fire started on the top floor of the century-old building.

The fire started on the top floor of the century-old building.


One resident was rushed to a local hospital with smoke inhalation and three firefighters suffered minor injuries, he said.

Accused Brooklyn blaze culprit says deadly fire was unintentional

“My friend, his mom was crying she thought her kids were in there. She was having an anxiety attack,” said Nicole Manard, 19, who’s father is the superintendent in the burned building. “There was fire everywhere. It looked like it was in the trees, in the scaffolding,” Manard explained.

The burning roof collapsed into the top floor as the fire raged on, officials said.

The burning roof collapsed into the top floor as the fire raged on, officials said.


The 11 miles-per-hour winds in the neighborhood caused the blaze to spread quickly, forcing the 42 families in the building out into the street.

Fire kills 2 in Dyker Heights, arson suspected

Fire kills 2 in Dyker Heights, arson suspected


POSTED 9:04 PM, NOVEMBER 9, 2017, BY

DYKER HEIGHTS, Brooklyn — Roaring flames burst from the windows of an apartment building in Dyker Heights where two people died in a fire that’s being investigated as arson, sources said.

The fast moving fire was deliberately set by someone who dumped an accelerant in the lobby of the building around 7:30 a.m. Thursday, law enforcement sources said.

“I heard the sirens, when I came out I realized that flames were shooting out of the back apartment alongside where we live,” said witness Heidi Pugni.

More than 100 firefighters and paramedics responded to the fire.

“It spread rapidly from the first floor up throughout the building. [There were] very heavy fire conditions in the hallway. Going through and to the top floor fire out the top floor window,” said James Leonard, chief of department for the Fire Department.

When the smoke cleared, firefighters found the lifeless bodies of a 58-year-old man and 56-year-old woman. Their bodies were burned beyond recognition, sources said.

Seven people were rushed to area hospitals including firefighters, Leonard said.

“My sister heard fighting and yelling coming from the back of the building. Then she noticed that the door handle was hot,” said Karen Hernandez, who escaped the building clutching her cat. “My mother checked and told us there was smoke coming from the back of the building. We went down the fire escape.”

Investigators from the city Fire Marshals, NYPD Arson and Explosives Squad and federal bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms inspected the rear of the building, where a fire escape was draped with charred clothing.