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.

AT LEAST 22 CIVILIANS, FIREFIGHER HURT IN LARGE SCALE FIRE

WTVA, NY: A fire that ripped through a four-story mix-use building in the Bronx Tuesday morning has injured at least 22 people …

A fire that ripped through a four-story mix-use building in the Bronx Tuesday morning has injured at least 22 people and a firefighter, as crews battled freezing temperatures in their fight against the flames, according to the FDNY.

About 200 firefighters responded to the fire, which began about 5:30 a.m. on the first floor of 1547 Commonwealth Ave., near East Tremont Avenue, officials said. As of 11:30 a.m., firefighters continued to battle the blaze.

The fire is believed to have started on the building’s first floor, which houses a furniture store. There are apartments located on the floors above.

Google Maps Imagery

At least 22 civilians and a firefighter were hurt. All of their injuries are non-life threatening, FDNY said.

Fire officials advised residents near the fire to close their windows because of smoke and warned drivers to expect traffic delays in the area.

Firefighters have been pulled from the building and are fighting the blaze from outside, FDNY said. Large icicles could be seen forming on the building’s fire escapes, as water used by the firefighters began to freeze amid a snap of brutally cold temperatures.

A resident said she tried to flee via the fire escape, but a gate was blocking the window. Her son and daughter were able to get through, but it was not until firefighters broke the gate that she and her husband could escape.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

This blaze comes days another Bronx fire killed 12 people in the one of the deadliest fires in the city in more than a quarter century. The Dec. 28 fire was started by a small child playing with a stove on the first floor, according to Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

The child’s mother heard him screaming and escaped the unit, but, according to Nigro, she left the apartment door open.

Source: ABC WTVA & FOX WLOV, New York.
Posted: Jan. 3, 2018 1:42 PM
Updated: Jan. 3, 2018 8:33 PM

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.”

Man fatally falls from fire escape after fight with girlfriend

A man who threatened his girlfriend with a knife early Sunday fell to his death after losing his footing on the fire escape as he tried to climb back into their Bronx apartment, police said.

Pedro Polanco, 27, and his 36-year-old girlfriend had friends at their flat on 182nd St. near Mapes Ave. in Belmont when they began fighting around 3:30 a.m. He repeatedly pushed her and flashed an intimidating blade, according to cops.

After she demanded he leave the fifth-floor apartment, where they live with their two young children, he climbed from the roof onto the fire escape — a familiar re-entry route he’d traveled before, according to officials.

But this time he lost his footing and accidentally fell, police said.

Medics discovered Polanco conscious and alert, but with severe trauma to his lower body, police said. They rushed him to St. Barnabas Hospital, where he died an hour later.

Polanco’s girlfriend was not seriously hurt. Cops continued to investigate the incident on Sunday, but said they do not suspect foul play.

Polanco’s mom, Francisca Garcia, said his girlfriend called her after an ambulance took him away.

“She said, ‘Please forgive me,’ ” Garcia said as she sobbed and dried her eyes with a wash cloth.

The dead man’s father, Pedro Polanco Jesus, said he’s still not sure if his son jumped or fell.

“We don’t know,” he said. “The police are still investigating.”

In addition to his kids in the Bronx, a boy, 4, and a girl, 2, Polanco has two children in his native Dominican Republic, neighbors said.

Polanco’s parents live in a basement apartment in the same building.

Neighbors described Polanco as quiet and friendly.

“I saw him yesterday around 4 or 5 o’clock. He was standing right here,” said neighbor Jose Fernandez, 57.

“He didn’t talk much, he was quiet. I said ‘What’s wrong with you, you don’t talk? Christmas is coming, you better be happy”.

Source: NY Daily News – Man fatally falls from fire escape after fight with girlfriend

Harvard Lampoon Building presented Historic Preservation Award

Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, chairman of the Massachusetts Historical Commission, recently announced the selection of the Harvard Lampoon Building in Cambridge to receive a 2017 Massachusetts Historical Commission Historic Preservation Award.

“The Massachusetts Historical Commission is proud to recognize the extraordinary accomplishments of this year’s awardees,” Galvin said. “The projects the commission is recognizing this year are particularly diverse and represent the many creative ways that significant historic resources are being preserved across the Commonwealth. The restoration of the Harvard Lampoon Building demonstrates an exceptional attention to detail.”

Located just south of Harvard Square in Cambridge, the Harvard Lampoon occupies a building that was one of the last major works of Boston city architect, Edmund Wheelwright. Wheelwright, a Harvard alumnus and a founder of the Harvard Lampoon magazine, one of the nation’s first college humor magazines, wanted the building to embody the comical nature of the publication. Completed in 1909, the Harvard Lampoon Building exhibits a synthesis of the formal Gothic and early Renaissance styles, with Flemish architectural influences, and is marked by a tower at its main entrance.

A century after its completion, the Lampoon Building still retained much of its original character and motifs, but was in need of functional, structural and cosmetic work. The most significant challenge was the need for a secondary means of egress from the second floor to meet modern code requirements. The only feasible option was to add a new exterior door and fire escape on the Plympton Street façade, yet the prominence of this façade meant that any intervention needed to be thoroughly thought out and precisely executed in order to maintain the building’s integrity. To that end, the design for the secondary egress included a new door with a limestone surround and Tudor hood molding, which were carefully integrated into the existing stringcourse. The new fire escape is shrouded with a decorative wrought-iron railing that runs the full width of the Plympton Street façade. Designed after a careful study of early 20th century metalwork in Boston and Cambridge, the railing features metal newels that complement the historic motifs of the building, including “HL” monograms, grotesques with jester hats and three book-shaped cartouches that together spell out the Lampoon’s original motto, “Vanitas.”

Along with the insertion of the new means of egress, significant structural problems were addressed on the Plympton Street façade. A steel beam had rusted over the ground-floor entry and windows, resulting in severe cracking of the surrounding masonry. Once the beam was cleaned, reinforced and waterproofed, the damaged area of limestone was patched and replaced as needed. Restoration of the masonry and windows at the building’s east end was also undertaken. All exterior masonry was cleaned, and inappropriate replacement mortar from previous repairs was replaced with mortar matching the original in color and texture. Similarly, on the inside, the replacement black mortar was removed and, after cleaning off dirt and soot, it was possible to match the original mortar’s lighter color and texture. Leaded glass windows, whose deterioration had been accelerated due to their covering by unvented storm panels, were cleaned and repainted once those panels were removed.

This is the 39th year of MHC’s Preservation Awards program. Projects are considered annually for awards in the categories of Rehabilitation and Restoration, Adaptive Reuse, Education and Outreach, Archaeology, Stewardship and Landscape Preservation. Individuals are considered in the categories of Individual Lifetime Achievement and Local Preservationist. Galvin serves as the chair of the 17-member Massachusetts Historical Commission.

Source: Wicked Local – Cambridge

Bryan offering grant money for safety improvements to downtown buildings

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) The City of Bryan is taking a new approach to making downtown businesses and residences safer. They’re offering grant money to bring older buildings up to new fire code standards.

Some historic buildings in Downtown Bryan have been lost or damaged to fire in recent years. The Court’s Saddlery building was destroyed in January 2011. The Edge’s building, which is home to the Halo nightclub, was significantly damaged in 2015. Even a small fire at RX Pizza back in March had fire crews scrambling to make sure flames didn’t spread.

The city is trying to get the word out about a grant for downtown busineses on Main Street and Bryan Avenue to bring fire safety improvements.

“The Life Safety Grant is really there to help renovate some of the older buildings in Downtown Bryan. It’s very difficult to add a fire protection system or alarm system or exits or windows or doors to some of these old structures without some financial assistance,” said Marc McFeron, the Bryan Fire Marshal.

The Queen Theatre, currently under massive renovation, is the city’s latest grant recipient.
Some historic buildings in Downtown Bryan have been lost or damaged to fire in recent years. The Court’s Saddlery building was destroyed in January 2011. The Edge’s building, which is home to the Halo nightclub, was significantly damaged in 2015. Even a small fire at RX Pizza back in March had fire crews scrambling to make sure flames didn’t spread.

The city is trying to get the word out about a grant for downtown busineses on Main Street and Bryan Avenue to bring fire safety improvements.

“The Life Safety Grant is really there to help renovate some of the older buildings in Downtown Bryan. It’s very difficult to add a fire protection system or alarm system or exits or windows or doors to some of these old structures without some financial assistance,” said Marc McFeron, the Bryan Fire Marshal.

The Queen Theatre, currently under massive renovation, is the city’s latest grant recipient.

Some historic buildings in Downtown Bryan have been lost or damaged to fire in recent years. The Court’s Saddlery building was destroyed in January 2011. The Edge’s building, which is home to the Halo nightclub, was significantly damaged in 2015. Even a small fire at RX Pizza back in March had fire crews scrambling to make sure flames didn’t spread.

The city is trying to get the word out about a grant for downtown busineses on Main Street and Bryan Avenue to bring fire safety improvements.

“The Life Safety Grant is really there to help renovate some of the older buildings in Downtown Bryan. It’s very difficult to add a fire protection system or alarm system or exits or windows or doors to some of these old structures without some financial assistance,” said Marc McFeron, the Bryan Fire Marshal.

The Queen Theatre, currently under massive renovation, is the city’s latest grant recipient.

Other locations that have received grant assistance include office and loft space at 212 North Bryan Avenue, and The Halo Nightclub in the Edges Building. The Fire Marshal tells us RX Pizza was also given assistance on fire suppression for their ventilation hoods.

Businesses or property owners interested in the grant can call Stephanie Doland at (979) 209-5073.

Source: Clay Falls with KBTX | Posted: Wed 5:41 PM, Dec 13, 2017 | Updated: Wed 11:20 PM, Dec 13, 2017

‘The only fire escape was the window,’ says woman rescued from Furby apartment blaze

Flames shoot through the roof of an apartment building on Furby Street Tuesday. (Submitted by Matt Gillies)

A Winnipeg mom huddled with her boys in a back bedroom of their Furby Street apartment Monday night, convinced they would never make it out.

Nancy McIvor says she’s glad to be alive after the blaze destroyed their building at 489 Furby St.

Her nephew Dylan, 23, and her sons Lester, 19, and Dwight, 20, huddled in Dwight’s bedroom after the fire broke out at 11 p.m. Monday, staring at the window, wondering if they might have to jump.

“We were that desperate to save our lives,” McIvor said Tuesday night. “We thought we were gonna die.”

McIvor said when her son woke her up the apartment was already thick with smoke.

“We couldn’t even see each other, that’s how bad the smoke was. We were just feeling each other … to go to the back room,” she said.

Their third-floor suite was above the second-floor apartment where the fire broke out, and they couldn’t reach the closest door as a result. The hallways were too full of smoke for them to attempt to navigate to either staircase.

Dwight’s room had the least smoke, so they all huddled there.

“I felt like, that’s the end of us. Because we were trapped. There was no way out,” she said.

“We were just running around with our heads cut off,” she said. “There was no fire escape, anywhere. The only fire escape was the window, to jump out the window.

“At that moment, it was life and death,” she said. “There was four lives to be saved — five lives, my Lucky too,” she said, referring to her cat.

he McIvors’ cat, Lucky, hasn’t been seen since the fire. (Submitted by Lester McIvor)

“We were just screaming out the window, ‘Help! Help!'”

Firefighters called back, asked what suite they were in and found them in Dwight’s room.

“They came and got us, like a chain,” McIvor said.

They were four of six people rescued from the third storey of the building. Six others trapped inside made it out on their own.

They were all treated for smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide toxicity. The city said Tuesday that three people were sent to hospital — one in unstable condition, two stable.

Lucky the cat is still missing. McIvor was told the building is likely to be condemned and she won’t be allowed inside to look for the cat.

They also won’t be able to salvage any of their belongings — McIvor’s guitar, her pictures of her mom and dad, “my values, that I call treasures — things you can’t replace,” she said.

Then there’s their winter gear — clothes other than the ones on their backs.

“We have nothing — no clothes, nothing to change into, we still smell like fire,” McIvor said Tuesday night.

“Starting all over again, it’s hard. You’ve got to buy pepper, salt.… We need underwear, socks — we have nothing. Everything’s gone to flames.”

They four of them are crammed into her sister’s one-bedroom apartment down the street on Furby. McIvor said she’s been thinking so hard about her next steps it feels like “my head is going to explode.”

She’s not sure how they’ll pay for a new place or what they will need to fill it, and is hoping the Christmas season will encourage people to help them out.

Fire crews set up ladders
When crews first arrived, there were people leaning out of the third-floor windows and heavy flames on the second floor, acting district Chief Ted McDougall told CBC.

​”People were living above that fire suite and they couldn’t get down normally, so fire crews set up ladders and got them out of there,” he said.

After searching through all floors for any more people, firefighters were ordered out. They initially tried to contain the flames to the second-level suite but it spread to the third floor.

Damage to the building is so extensive it will need to be demolished, McDougall said.

The building next door, 485 Furby St., also was evacuated as large amounts of smoke poured into it, along with some water.

On Tuesday, City of Winnipeg spokesperson Michelle Finley said 16 people from both buildings were housed in a hotel Monday night.

A city transit bus was brought in to shelter evacuees. Some had to stay there for several hours.

“Residents who were on the bus for an extended period of time were primarily from the adjacent building at 485 Furby St.,” Finley said in an email.

“At 3 a.m., it became apparent they would not be able to return to their apartments. It was at that time that preparations began to move people who could not stay with family or friends, to a hotel with the assistance of the Red Cross.”

Source: CBC News Posted: Dec 05, 2017 7:55 PM CT Last Updated: Dec 05, 2017 9:31 PM CT

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.

 (JANIFEST/GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO)

 

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

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.