Entries in Fire (54)


Seattle Fireworks Show Marred by Fire

John White Photos/Flickr/Getty Images(SEATTLE) -- An annual fireworks show in Seattle was the ruined by a fire at a boat storage facility on Lake Union Thursday.

According to ABC affiliate KOMO-TV, at least six boats were damaged in the fire. Witnesses said that the fire spread quickly.

"It started out as a small ember in a small boat," one witness told KOMO-TV, "and they didn't remove it quick enough and the whole thing caught fire."

Firefighters responded to the report at about 10 p.m. on Thursday and the flames were extinguished in under one hour.

According to the Seattle Fire Department, up to 14 boats may have suffered as much as $1.5 million in damage in the fire.

The fire was apparently caused by a stray firework. There were no reported injuries in the fire. The fireworks show went ahead as scheduled after the fire was extinguished.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Colorado Fire No Longer Heading Towards South Fork, Officials Say

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SOUTH FORK, Colo.) -- A shift in the winds Friday night has fire officials sounding more optimistic about the fate of the tiny Colorado town of South Fork.

The tourist town in southwestern Colorado is threatened by the “West Fork Complex,” a combination of two giant wildfires which have already scorched 42,000 acres of land. The flames were headed directly towards the town, but a change in the weather turned the flames away.

South Fork is also lucky because the behavior of the fire has changed due to the type of forest it has encountered. The blaze initially exploded in size because it was burning in dead, dry, beetle-killed forests, but officials say it's now burning living Ponderosa and Aspen forests where the fire doesn't burn as hot.

The fire is currently 3 to 5 miles outside of South Fork, and firefighters are standing by in case the weather changes again.

The town’s 400 residents and hundreds of tourists have already been evacuated, and no homes have been destroyed.

“We’re still here,” South Fork Police Chief James Chavez told ABC News.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Passengers on Ill-Fated Royal Caribbean Cruise Heard 'Big Explosions'

Photo Courtesy Royal Caribbean (FREEPORT, Bahamas) -- Several passengers aboard Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas said they heard "big explosions" after a fire broke out early Monday morning, charring the stern of the ship and forcing passengers to end their vacation early.

Royal Caribbean International said that the cruise line is arranging flights for all 2,224 guests, who could start flying back home as early as Tuesday. Passengers will receive a full refund of their fare and a certificate for a future cruise.

Royal Caribbean said the fire was discovered at 2:50 a.m. ET Monday on the mooring area on deck three of its 11 decks.

Passenger Luke Sluscher, 20, was awakened by the commotion. When he stepped outside his room, he "heard crew yelling mayday, mayday, as they ran to put out the fire."

The cruise line said the fire was extinguished and the affected area was cordoned off. Guests were allowed to return to their staterooms, the company said, at 7:15 a.m. ET. No injuries were reported.

After assessing the damage, which gutted the rear of the ship on at least one deck, RCI officials decided to end the cruise in Freeport to make repairs. It's not clear when the ship will be able to serve passengers again, though all systems remain operable. The May 31 cruise out of Baltimore has been cancelled.

Dan McTigue was one of the many frightened passengers hustling to muster stations near lifeboats during the ordeal.

"I heard these big explosions and saw the fire jump out of the ship. We couldn't get to the muster station because it was on fire," McTigue said.

Photos show a substantial area of the stern burned on several decks and the fire destroyed a dining area and a bar. ABC News has obtained photos of the interior of the ship in the aftermath of the fire, showing yellow tape and fire hoses crisscrossing the corridor near smoke-damaged walls.

The Grandeur of the Seas, which left Baltimore on Friday, never lost power and was able to sail into port in Freeport, Bahamas, Monday afternoon. It had been planned to be a seven-night cruise. Royal Caribbean told ABC News that about 20 people "took ill." Medical staff reported two guests were treated after fainting, with one report of high blood pressure and another of cramps.

The crew was able to control the fire but not passengers' fear as they waited for more than four hours to be given the all clear.

"I started crying. I thought we were gonna die…," said McTigue's granddaughter, Sophia.

Hours after the ship reached the Bahamas, Royal Caribbean President and CEO Adam Goldstein arrived on the island to meet with guests and crew.

The incident follows a series of high-profile cruise ship mishaps on Carnival Corp. ships, the largest operator worldwide. An engine room fire crippled the Carnival Triumph on its way from Galveston, Texas, to Cozumel, Mexico in February. It took tug boats nearly five days to haul it back to Mobile, Ala., as conditions and sanitation aboard the 1,000-foot ship deteriorated. In April, it broke away from its mooring in Mobile, Ala. while 800 people were on board.

Last year Carnival's Costa Concordia ran aground off the cost of Italy, killing 30 people. Salvage efforts are still underway for the ship, which held 3,229 passengers and 1,023 crew.


Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Avoid Starting a Fire While Grilling this Memorial Day

Fuse(NEW YORK) -- Fire officials are warning folks to remember proper grill safety when lighting up the barbecue this Memorial Day Weekend.

David Cherrone, Fire Marshall for Clay Township, outside of South Bend, Ind., says a common mistake is grilling on wood decks and balconies.

“There's nothing against your grill sitting on your balcony. It's just that when you get ready to use it, it needs to be on the main level at least 15 feet away.” Cherrone said. “We'll get calls for either the grill is on fire [and then] people calling to say their deck is on fire.”

Cherrone says another rule cooks often forget is to check for leaky hoses. Leaking propane is a serious fire hazard.

“If [the grill] sits outside, replace it yearly. If you store it away then every other year is a good way to replace those to make sure again that the diaphragms stay fresh, that you have less chance of leakage,” he said.

Cherrone also says to avoid lighting the grill when the lid is shut, as rather than allowing the gas to vent it builds up and flashes back upon ignition.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Limousine Fire Kills Five

iStockphoto(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Five people were killed and four others injured when a limousine caught fire late Saturday on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge.

The victims were all women in their thirties to forties on their way to a bachelorette party. The bride-to-be was one of the victims of the fire, according to the San Mateo County Times.

Four women and the driver of the limousine were able to escape the blaze. Four of the survivors were taken to the hospital; three for treatment of minor injuries and smoke inhalation, and one due to severe burns, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Amelia Jack.

The cause of the fire is not known at this time. It does not appear that the limousine was involved in a collision, California Highway Patrol Spokesman Officer Art Montiel said.

“It appears that the fire started in the back,” Montiel said, before adding that he could not confirm that until the investigation had been completed.

Authorities shut down all westbound lanes on the bridge due to the fire, though they have since been reopened.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Ga. Fire Engulfs Home, Takes Lives of Woman, Four Children

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(NEWNAN, Ga.) -- A woman and four children died in a blazing fire that engulfed a single-story brick home in Newnan, Ga., early Saturday morning.

Alonna McCrary, 28, along with two of her children, Eriel McCrary, 5, and Nikia White, 2, died in the fire, according to a statement from the Newnan Police Department. Messiah White, 3, and McKenzie Florence, 1, who were sleeping at McCrary's home, also did not survive the flames.

The fire broke out just after 1 a.m. on Saturday. McCrary's 11-year-old daughter, Nautica, was awoken by her mother telling her the house was on fire and to run, the news release from the Newnan Police Department stated.

"She couldn't see anything, they were bumping into each other," Nautica's aunt, Roxanne Arnold told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. "They had to feel around and she was hollering and screaming. Her mother kept telling her to get out."

Nautica was the sole survivor of the fire.

She was taken to a local hospital for smoke inhalation, but has since been released and is in the care of an aunt, Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner spokesman Glenn Allen told ABC News.

Allen said the fire originated from an electrical panel in the home's den. Authorities determined the fire was accidental, he said.

Investigators found a smoke alarm in the rubble from inside the home, but it was so badly damaged that Allen could not say whether the device was working prior to the fire.

"My heart goes out to any of the families affected, and the 11-year-old daughter that did escape," Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens told ABC News. "She's going to be traumatized."

The bodies of the mother and children were taken to the state crime lab for an autopsy at a later date, Allen said. Allen said he did not know where the bodies were found inside of the charred home.

It is unclear if Messiah and McKenzie were related to McCrary, Hudgens said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


More than a Dozen Injured in Kansas City, Mo., Gas Explosion CITY, Mo.) -- More than a dozen people were injured after a natural gas explosion ripped through a popular downtown restaurant in an upscale section of Kansas City, Mo.

Witnesses say the huge fireball, which engulfed an entire city block Tuesday night, could be seen for miles.  The explosion destroyed JJ's restaurant and rattled windows blocks away.

"Everything shook, and you could feel it almost as much as you could hear it," one witness said.  "It was by far the biggest explosion I've ever felt in my life."

There were no initial reports of fatalities, but cadaver dogs are searching the area.  Kansas City Fire Chief Paul Berardi told reporters Wednesday morning that one person is missing.

"At this time we're still searching for one victim and that employee is a female employee of JJ's restaurant," he said.

St. Luke's Hospital said it treated eight patients, including two men who were in critical condition.  Six other people had less serious injuries, according to ABC News affiliate KMBC-TV.  The University of Kansas Hospital said it had received four patients and had a fifth on the way, KMBC reported.

More than 100 firefighters worked overnight to knock back the thick black smoke and shooting flames that forced onlookers to flee the downtown Kansas City shopping district just after 6 p.m.

"We are concerned that there may be additional people not able to get out of the structure," Berardi told reporters late Tuesday.  "This was happy-hour at a restaurant.  There were patrons in the restaurant."

"I would always fear there are fatalities in a scene like this," he added.

Investigators are sifting through the rubble Wednesday morning and trying to figure out what caused the blaze.  It is believed that a contractor might have hit an underground natural gas line.

It almost smelled like the radiators were seeping out gas," one witness said.  "Strong enough for us to call the landlord to say something was wrong."

Witnesses say gas fumes could still be smelled hours after firefighters got the flames under control.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Seattle Commuter Bus Bursts into Flames

KOMO/ABC News(SEATTLE) -- A commuter bus burst into flame on Interstate 5 in Seattle during the heart of the morning commute Friday, but the fire department said the driver’s quick thinking helped prevent deaths or injuries.

“The bus driver said he heard a couple of pops and evacuated 30-40 people off the bus,” fire department spokesman Kyle Moore told ABC News. “He not only evacuated them but moved them a significant distance away, which helped greatly with our firefighting efforts.”

“Everyone starts looking around at each other, like, ‘What's happening?’” passenger Emalasa Franulovich told ABC affiliate KOMO-TV. “Then we hear a second ‘pop’ and everyone starts panicking and yelling, ‘Get off the bus.'”

The fire erupted before the bus came to a full stop, and soon consumed its rear half.

Aerial footage of the blaze showed billowing clouds of black smoke from the bus and traffic backed up for miles. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire around 7:30 a.m. local time.

Moore said that the blaze could have been much worse had the bus been powered by natural gas, and not by diesel fuel.  “Diesel fuel is not explosive like a natural gas bus,” he said.

Police and Sound Transit, which owns the bus, are investigating the incident.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Boeing 787 Dreamliner Catches Fire After Landing in Boston

ABC News(BOSTON) -- A fire broke out on an empty Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet in Boston's Logan Airport after a non-stop flight from Tokyo, prompting more safety concerns about the new plane since its 2011 release.

The incident occurred Monday morning when an electrical fire broke out on board the Japan Airlines jet 30 minutes after 173 passengers and 11 crew members exited the plane.  The Massachusetts Port Authority's fire chief, Bob Donahue, said the fire began in a battery pack for the plane's auxiliary power unit, which runs the jet's electrical systems when it's not getting power from its engines.

No major injuries were reported and one firefighter had skin irritation after contact with a chemical used to douse the fire, Donahue said.

The flight landed incident-free around 10:15 a.m., but a mechanic working in the cockpit was confronted minutes later by smoke billowing from electrical systems in the belly of the plane.

"We observed a heavy smoke condition throughout the entire cabin," Donahue said.

Fire crews using infrared equipment found flames in a small compartment in the plane's belly and had the fire out in about 20 minutes, he said.  There was a flare-up later when a battery exploded, he added.

Japan Airlines said in a statement, "Safety is the foundation of JAL's operations and while no passengers were injured in this incident, we deeply apologize for causing our customers concern and inconvenience.  We are now working closely with NTSB and Boeing in determining the cause of this incident."

The National Transportation Safety Board said it's sending an investigator to Boston.

"We're aware of the situation and are working with our customer," Boeing said in a statement.

Boeing has sold more than 800 of the planes around the world with only six flying domestically.  The plane, mostly made of carbon fiber, was first released in 2011.

The Federal Aviation Administration last month ordered inspections of potential fuel-line leaks on all 787s.  On the same day the inspection was ordered, a United Airlines 787 flight from Houston to Newark, N.J., was diverted to New Orleans because of a generator failure.  A similar fire broke out during the 787's testing phase in 2010.

"This event occurred in the same avionics bay where they had problems before," said John Hansman, MIT professor of aeronautics and astronautics.  "So it raises a lot of questions that will be looked at as quickly as possible."

But Hansman believes this is just a new plane built differently with new systems and materials.

"I wouldn't be concerned as a passenger.  This is a very good airplane, but it's very advanced.  It's pushing the envelope," he said.

Airlines are buying the new planes because they're cheaper to fly and more efficient, but they're going to sell would-be passengers on feature comforts such as the air itself.

Because the plane is made of plastic, it is more flexible so air pressure inside the plane can be kept higher.  The maker says the improvement in air pressure leads to less jet lag, as well as less dry mouth and skin for passengers.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Three Dead in San Jose Apartment Fire

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SAN JOSE, Calif.) -- An apartment fire in San Jose, California left a woman, man and child dead late Saturday night, The San Jose Mercury News reports.

The blaze reportedly broke out just after 11 p.m. in the 3600 block of Bridgeport Court. Firefighters responded to multiple emergency calls, along with reports that people were trapped inside the second-floor apartment. Fire crews extinguished the blaze and prevented it from spreading to other units in the building, the paper says.

The fire department confirmed that a man, woman and young child, whose names have not been released, died from their injuries. Three other people, including a police officer on the scene who assisted in a rescue, were taken to local hospitals to be treated for smoke inhalation, according to the Mercury News.

About 56 residents were displaced from the building.

The fire is under investigation.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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