A Lawrence teen was killed today after a chimney from a house explosion fell on the car he was in during a series of about 70 explosions and fires in the city and in nearby Andover and North Andover this afternoon that has kept emergency crews working late into the night.
Leonel Rondon, 18, was pronounced dead at Mass General Hospital at approximately 8:30 this evening, officials announced. He was inside a car near 35 Chickering Road in Lawrence, the scene of some of the worst blazes.
Emergency officials, meanwhile, are urging people to get out of their houses and evacuate their neighborhoods in the three communities as firefighters battle dozens of gas explosions that leveled some houses and set fire to others over a large area.
Police are on patrol in Lawrence tonight after power was cut off until officials can determine if the city is safe.
"If you smell gas, you gotta get out of your home," Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera told reporters.
State police said any residents of the area with Columbia Gas service to their house should "evacuate immediately." State police are reporing 70 fires and gas explosions were reported today.
A former Yakima firefighter says he was injured on the job because the city understaffs its fire squads.
The accusation is part of a damage claim the former firefighter, Jerry Elmo Jr., submitted earlier this summer, asking the city for $450,000 in damages related to the injury.
City spokesman Randy Beehler says the city doesn’t comment on pending claims or litigation. Elmo, who was terminated in May for an inability to “perform the essential functions” of his job, lays out the circumstances surrounding his injury and the subsequent damage claim as follows:
In July 2015, Elmo and his crew responded to a fire in the 400 block of North Fifth Avenue after they had already helped put out a fire in the 600 block of Pleasant Avenue. The response came without rehabilitation — time to rest, cool down or get food and beverage, according to the claim.
While fighting the second fire, Elmo was thrown off balance and “experienced two pops” and pain in his hip and groin, which resulted in him being taken to Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, according to the claim.
The ongoing dispute involving Utica fire Chief Russell Brooks and his health started more than a year ago with an application.
Citing his diagnosis for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, which he says resulted from responding to New York City to support 9/11 recovery efforts, Brooks applied for benefits outlined under General Municipal Law 207-a. The law entitles firefighters to medical or hospital expenses as a result of on-duty injuries or illnesses.
Mayor Robert Palmieri — the city’s public safety commissioner — denied Brooks’ request, however, leading to a number of public spats and several court appearances ever since. The mayor also placed Brooks on paid, indeterminate, nondisciplinary leave the same day his 207-a application was rejected.
Brooks sought arbitration to appeal the city’s denial, and in the time since, the status of that appeal for 207-a benefits was unresolved — until about a month ago.
Cincinnati police and firefighter recruits are asked to describe their "most unusual sex act" in a questionnaire that can later become accessible to the public.
The questions are part of the Fire and Police departments' pre-employment process. They raise concerns for some that new recruits are being asked to divulge private, probing details about their sexual history.
"This certainly raises eyebrows," said Mary Turocy, director of public affairs for the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.
"Have you participated in a sexual act in a public place?" Cincinnati police and fire applicants are asked. "Location(s) and number of times. ... Explain each circumstance."
Another asks: "Not counting self-masturbation or legal sexual activity with a willing partner, what was your most unusual sex act?"
Cincinnati Enquirer & Cincinnati.com
An architectural firm commissioned by the city to assess the conditions at eight Pueblo Fire Department buildings is recommending the department build new facilities at three stations that are in poor shape.
The stations that need replacing, according to that architectural firm, are at 425 W. Seventh St., 1325 E. Fourth St., and 31475 Bryan Circle.
The station on West Seventh is badly deteriorated and is very close to the end of its useful life, according to Dennis Ross of Pacheco Ross Architects, P.C., the firm the city paid $95,000 to conduct the study. In a report given to City Council, Ross said ongoing repair or meaningful renovation of the station would be a waste of resources.
The station at East Fourth is in average-to-below-average condition and very crowded, according to Ross' report, and the apparatus bay is too small for modern equipment.
And the station on Bryan Circle is badly deteriorated and close to the end of its useful life, as well, Ross said. As with the West Seventh Street station, Ross concluded that ongoing repair or meaningful renovation would be a waste of resources.