‘lucky’ to have escaped

Malone fire victims feel ‘lucky’ to have escaped

  • By DENISE A. RAYMO Press-Republican

A few minutes later, his girlfriend, Lakeisha Mitchell, woke up and told him she could smell smoke.

About the same time, someone started pounding on their door, yelling there was smoke in the hallway of their four-story apartment house at 384 West Main St.

“We got out onto the fire escape, and the flames started shooting up,” Coates said.

“I had to carry her down the fire escape,” he said, gesturing to Lakeisha, who is five weeks pregnant with their first child.

“I carried her down, then I brought four little kids down and went in again,” Coates said.

“There were so many kids, I kept going in to help.”

Everyone that he and first responders assisted got to safety as firefighters from 17 Franklin County departments, five fire departments from St. Lawrence County and one from Clinton County poured into the village from all directions to help.


The couple sat on the stoop of the former Kriff’s Furniture Store building across the street from the fire site as volunteer firefighters continued to peel off strips of metal roofing more than nine hours after the blaze was first reported to Franklin County Fire Control.

“This whole place was full of smoke,” he said, raising his arms to indicate the two-lane passage of Main Street/Route 11, which is lined with tall, old buildings on each side.

Thirty people were sent to the Emergency Department at University of Vermont Health Network, Alice Hyde Medical Center to be checked out as a safety precaution.


Coates and Mitchell were medically cleared and left to come back downtown to see how badly the building was damaged.

“Luckily, nothing was wrong with us,” Coates said. “But all of our stuff is gone. Even my wallet’s up there.”

He had not been able to contact the American Red Cross for help because he had no minutes left on his pre-paid phone.

But across town where the Red Cross has established an emergency shelter at the Malone Adult Center, the aroma of goulash cooking and a cheery chalkboard sign encouraging people to grab a fresh cup of coffee greeted the nine victims being helped there.

All had just enough time to leave with the clothing or pajamas on their backs after being evacuated by firefighters and police.


Angela Dolan and her boyfriend, Richard Rhinehart, were being helped at the shelter. They lived on different floors of the adjoining apartment house to the immediate right of where the fatal fire occurred, so they aren’t sure how much smoke and water damage their belongings might have endured.

“We went outside and saw the flames, and people were running all over the place, trying to get out,” he said.

“It was a nightmare. I’m deathly afraid of fire. But my girlfriend’s front door goes right out to Main Street, so we got right out.”

“I’m just thankful everybody’s OK,” Rhinehart said. “I knew a lot of the people who lived there.”

He said a neighbor, Faye Fleury, was very upset at the scene because she had not been able to find her cat, but Dolan said the pet turned up safe a little later.


“It seems like we were lucky,” Dolan said. “Oh, it could have been such a disaster if anyone else had been hurt. I felt awful; I still feel awful about the whole thing,” she said.

“He just decided to stay with me. He wasn’t going to, but for some reason, we decide to stay together,” Dolan said.

“I was awake at 1:30 and heard a commotion in the back yard and didn’t know what it was. Then I saw somebody going down the fire escape, so I looked out the front window and saw the fire trucks.

“Seems like we were lucky,” she said. “But this is a sad time.”


The Red Cross will have the shelter open until at least Monday unless the fire victims can all be placed in other safe lodging before then, said Bridget Nelson, an AmeriCorps and Red Cross disaster-services volunteer.

Community members were already offering furniture and bringing bags of clothing to the Adult Center.

Director Paulette Dear said the agency was using the food planned for Monday’s Meals of Wheels and congregate-meal program to feed the fire victims and that an alternate menu will be created for those clients when the new week begins.

If the center is still needed as a shelter on Monday, when meals are typically served at the Route 30 site, the fire victims will be fed with the elderly patrons but the scheduled bridge card game will be postponed.


Sandro Colon, who lived on the third floor of the apartment house for about a year, was one of the people being helped at the shelter until he can figure out what he is going to do next.

“We don’t know what’s going on,” he said of the fire’s destruction.

“We may have lost all of our belongings. We may have to start all over again.”

Email Denise A. Raymo:


Twitter: @DeniseRaymo

2 Escape Torch Lake House Fire

Fire heavily damaged a home on Fort Wayne’s southwest side early Monday.

An adult and teenager were able to escape the fire before crews arrived.

At 6:15 a.m., the Fort Wayne Fire Department was called to 3522 Torch Lake Drive.

When crews arrived, they found flames coming from the back of the two-story home.

The fire broke through the roof not long after firefighters arrived because of flames in the attic, the fire department said.

The blaze is under investigation.

Woman killed in downtown crash

A woman died in a two-vehicle crash late Sunday in downtown Fort Wayne.

City police said a southbound vehicle struck a westbound vehicle at South Clinton Street and East Washington Boulevard.

The woman died at the scene. Her name will be released by the coroner.

Minors arrested at Lake Wawasee

Eighteen minors were arrested Sunday by Indiana conservation officers on charges of illegal possession and consumption of alcohol on the Lake Wawasee sandbar.

Officers received a complaint of a large party on the sandbar with several teen­agers illegally consuming alcohol, according to a news release. Two officers observed several violations taking place on five boats that were tied together.

The officers were participating in Operation Dry Water, a national awareness campaign about boating under the influence of alcohol.

Alcohol contributes to more than half of Indiana boating fatalities. It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol.

Source: Indiana Journal Gazette

Exclusive Video: Bronx Apartment Fire Leaves 10 Injured, Fire Escape Saves Lives

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Nearly a dozen people are recovering from injuries and several families are without a home after a Bronx apartment building went up in flame on Monday.

The fire started just before noon on 163rd Street in the Melrose section.

Exclusive video obtained by CBS2 shows people scrambling down a fire escape and leaping to the ground.

More than 100 firefighters responded. Two of them suffered minor injuries, along with one police officer, who cut his hand on broken glass trying to rescue children.

Seven civilians were also injured, one seriously.

Many of the residents say their smoke alarms never went off, and if it weren’t for heroes in the neighborhood, this could have been much worse, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported.

Cellphone video captured people climbing down ladders to escape the giant flames from the second floor of the building on 163rd Street.

“A lot of people were jumping off the fire escape also when they got to the second-floor landing,” said witness Peter Ortega. “It was really scary. It was really intense.”

“I saw a fireman come out with a lady in his arms,” said Hellen Matos. “I think she got burnt really bad.”

There were also heroes in the crowd. Alex Piniero, a security guard across the street, smelled smoke and ran in to save whoever he could.

“I seen a kid in the third floor screaming for his mom, but I run upstairs and I grabbed him, put him in my arms, I ran outside,” he said. “And then I saw a lady — she just fainted right in my arms in the first floor, and I carried her out.”

People had to knock on neighbors’ doors just to get everyone out because the fire alarms were not working, residents said.

“Somebody said ‘fire, fire!’ so I run. I start knocking doors,” one resident said.

“There was no fire alarms that rang, so no one on the fifth floor would have known if no one went knocking,” Matos said.

The landlord told CBS2 the fire alarms and sprinklers were working fine.

“There are fire extinguishers in every apartment,” he said.

The cause of fire is under investigation.

Source: CBS 2 New York

Residents escape 3-alarm apartment fire likely caused by fireworks

BOISE – Boise Fire Department officials say fireworks are likely the cause of a three-alarm apartment fire early Wednesday morning at the Edgewater Apartments off State Street in Boise.

Firefighters responded to reports of a fire at the complex shortly after 2:30 a.m.

When crews arrived, heavy fire was visible from the third floor of a building. Officials said the fire started on a second story balcony and burned up into the unit above and into an attic.

Five units were damaged.

One person suffered smoke inhalation as a result of the fire. No other injuries were reported.

The Boise Fire Burnout Fund is helping eight displaced families.

Officials believe fireworks are to blame, and said they received reports of teenagers setting off fireworks nearby prior to the fire. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS.

Source: © 2017 KTVB-TV

10 injured in Hunts Point Bronx

10 injured in Hunts Point Bronx

Residents gathered outside the walk-up building as the FDNY battled the blaze.

“When they arrived, they had a heavy smoke and fire condition coming from the third-floor windows, which drew their attention to the third floor. We believe the fire actually started on the first floor, and an interior shaft, windows, and toward the back of the building,” said FDNY Chief Roger Sakowich.

Flames and black smoke billowed out of the windows and took over the five floor apartment building.

“I see everyone yelling ‘fire, fire,’ running down the stairs,” Anthony Faison said.

A little girl hiding in her room was rescued by good Samaritans who happened to be walking down the street.

“We heard the lady screaming, ‘oh, my daughter’s in there,’ so me and my brother went inside,” one man said.

The two men plus another neighbor teamed up and fought heavy smoke and flames to get her out.

“There was a lot of smoke up in the air and it was clear in the bottom, so we went under, but it was too hot, and too much smoke, so we couldn’t get through,” he said.

They said they knocked the door down and eventually used the fire escape — pushing out an AC unit to pull her to safety.

“Tito passed her to me through the fire escape, so she was crying, she just looked so scared it kind of broke my heart,” Faison said.

Sakowich told CBS2’s Reena Roy at the scene that 10 people injured — four civilians and six firefighters. None of the victims suffered life-threatening injuries, and most were caused by smoke inhalation, the FDNY said.

The fire had spread quickly to the back of the building, then up the shaft to other floors. The conditions were so dangerous that firefighters had to shelter two people inside as 150 FDNY members brought it under control.

“We decided it was too risky to bring them down at that point and we sheltered them in place and actually got oxygen to them until it was safe to bring them down,” Sakowich said.

The American Red Cross Greater New York was on the scene offering assistance. Officials said everyone made it out and will recover. They are still trying to figure out what caused the fire.


Heroes rush into burning building

Heroes rush into burning building, save senior citizens


PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) – “I ran in there and knocked on her door,” said Kenneth Breaux.

Proulx and his brother Joseph Jones ran into the West Manor Apartments in Pontiac after seeing smoke coming from the roof of the building Saturday evening.

“My step mother Shirley Jones lives there and we ran up a fire escape to get to her. We knocked on the door, but she never answered,” Breaux explained.

Joseph Jones said his brother helped four senior citizens escape from the burning building. He said he helped three get out.

“I had to carry one woman down the stairs because she couldn’t walk,” said Jones.

After helping seven people get out safely, the brothers said they couldn’t go back inside because, by that time, that side of the building was engulfed in flames.

The fire broke out at the senior apartment complex just after 4 p.m. Saturday.

According to its website, there are 47 residential housing units.

Right now, it’s unclear how many people were inside the complex during the time of the fire, but we’ve learned everyone made it out safely.

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office says a resident was using a barbecue grill on his balcony when it caught fire.

The incident has been ruled accidental.




A fire fighter climbs up the fire escape ladder outside Famous Familiga Pizza to join others battling the blaze

A fire tore through a luxury Greenwich Village apartment building on Wednesday after an ‘explosion’ on the sixth floor.
Plumes of smoke billowed from The Hamilton at 60 East 9th street after the blast at around 5.45pm.
Forty-four FDNY vehicles raced to the scene and hoisted fire fighters on to the roof to tackle the blaze from above.
Nearly 200 fire fighters and EMTs responded to the situation. It is not yet clear how exactly the fire was started or if anyone has been hurt.

Stretchers were seen being brought in to the building but has not emerged.

An FDNY spokesman could not give further details on Wednesday evening.
‘It’s a developing situation, so far there are no injuries reported but it is developing,’ they said.
The entire building was being evacuated on Wednesday night. A source inside earlier told DailyMail.com the explosion happened on the sixth floor and said fire crews were trying the flames.

It is understood to have occupied the entirety of the top floor – which is spread over two wings – and the building’s attic.
Fire fighters were seen punching through windows on the top floors of the building to allow some of the heat to escape.
Crowds cheered and gasped as glass from the upper windows shattered. The smell of burning materials wafted in to office buildings surrounding the area.

Fire fighters on the ground extended the safety perimeter numerous times as they continued to work at the scene on Wednesday afternoon.
The 8th street subway station which services the N, Q, R, and W lines, was closed shortly after the incident as was Astor Place which services the 6 train.
Apartments in the building range from $525,000 studios to two-bedroom units costing $1.25million.
Initial reports indicated that the blaze may have started in Famous Famiglia Pizza next door.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4648824/Explosion-Greenwich-Village-apartment-building.html#ixzz4lLf7TjPS
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6 Children Hospitalized After Providence Fire

6 Children Hospitalized After Providence Fire

Six children have been hospitalized with minor injuries following a fire in Rhode Island.

June 26, 2017, at 5:06 a.m.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Six children have been hospitalized as a precautionary measure following a fire in Rhode Island.

Firefighters say the fire broke out in a Providence apartment building around 10 a.m. Sunday.

Arriving firefighters found two children on the second floor fire escape and used ground ladders to rescue them. Fire officials say the two rescued and other four children who lived in the building were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

None of the five adults who lived in the building were injured. One firefighter was hospitalized for a hand injury.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Ottumwa, Iowa Addresses Courthouse Fire Safety

OTTUMWA, IOWA— The initial report from a consulting firm’s May site visit has the county wondering what additional work will have to precede the replacement of windows in the courthouse.

In March the county board of supervisors agreed to have Chairman Jerry Parker contact Victor Amoroso of A and J Associates for recommendations on replacing windows in the courthouse. “There are certain things we can and cannot do,” said Parker, because the building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Amoroso and architect Douglas Steinmetz examined the windows in May. Parker told supervisors last week that Steinmetz and Amoroso “found some things they thought we might want to address before we do the windows.”

Two concerns that Parker mentioned were sand in the fifth floor front window and sporadic fire protection.

Sand in the fifth floor front window may indicate that the masonry is pulling apart, Steinmetz’s report says. Photographs and observations made at the time of the site visit were inconclusive though there does appear to be an area of missing exterior mortar, Steinmetz said.

According to the report, exploratory construction will be needed to evaluate the situation. In addition, the missing center pier at this window will have to be reconstructed. “This will help with structural concerns and also reduce the glass area helping to reduce solar gain in the office located by this window,” the report says.

Steinmetz called the fire protection system at the courthouse “spotty.” “System does not provide full coverage along designated exit routes,” his report says.

County Auditor Kelly Spurgeon told supervisors last week that the courthouse is inspected every year, and she doesn’t understand why the deficiency hasn’t been mentioned before.

“It might be good to have the fire inspector look at it,” said Parker at the May 30 board meeting.

Supervisor Greg Kenning suggested that the county address the sprinkler issue before proceeding with the window project.

Supervisors instructed Spurgeon to look into Steinmetz’s concerns in collaboration with courthouse Building Maintenance Manager Andrew Birch.

“I still haven’t read the report yet,” said Spurgeon Monday. Her office is busy with fiscal budgets this time of year. Spurgeon said the courthouse is inspected every year, and spotty coverage of the sprinkler system has never been brought to her attention.

Parker said Monday that there are no sprinklers on the fifth floor of the courthouse. “We don’t know that they are required to be there,” he said. The floor is used only for storage.

Parker said the county also has questions about some fire escapes and exit routes. “Some of the bolts going into that old stone are loose,” said Parker. If the fire escapes are needed, their stability will have to be addressed.

Another issue supervisors want to address involves the escape route through the main courtroom on the third floor. “We keep that door locked,” Parker said. “They were afraid people visiting the courthouse could slip a weapon in there, so we were required to keep that door locked.”

However, the courtroom is designated as an escape route, Parker said. If the fire inspector requires that access to the courtroom be unrestricted for fire safety, the county will not be able to keep the courtroom locked as law enforcement requested.

Anyone in the courtroom has an escape route, Parker said, but when court is not in session, the room is locked, and a different escape route has to be used.

Parker said that he’s contacted Ottumwa Fire Chief Tony Miller to request that the city’s fire inspector look into the issues addressed in the Steinmetz’s report.

Source: Ottumwa Courier
Reporter Winona Whitaker can be contacted at wwhitaker@ottumwacourier.com and followed on Twitter @courierwinona.

Howdy Ya’ll! We’ll Be In Texas Next Month To Host a Fire Escape Awareness Seminar, Come Join Us, As We Speak to Local AHJ’s Across Texas About The Dangers of Fire Escapes!

Join us for our monthly meeting & training for June 2017. This month we will be joined by Francisco Meneses with the National Fire Escape Association to discuss fire escapes. We will discuss the basics of code requirements as it relates to the -history of fire escapes -standardizing the process of inspecting fire escape systems -standardizing the process of Repairing, Certifying and/or Load Testing Fire Escape Systems -introduction of Industry Standard Documentation
2012 IFC 1104.16.5.1 Fire escape stairs must be examined every 5 years, by design professional or others acceptable and inspection report must be submitted to the fire code official.

All members in attendance will be issued one CEU for one hour. Please make sure to RSVP and please bring $10 for a buffet lunch.

visit the Fire Prevention Association of North Texas for more details: http://fpant.org/