National News

Thursday, May 6, 2021

New York recycling plant fire; Train service suspended due to massive blaze

VIDEO: Service along multiple Long Island Rail Road lines was suspended Thursday morning between Hicksville and Mineola after a fire ripped through a large Westbury recycling facility overnight. Nassau County Traffic Management and the LIRR confirmed fire department activity on Grand Boulevard between Monitor Street to Broadway just before 9 p.m. Wednesday, with drivers told to expect delays. The massive five-alarm blaze was still burning early Thursday at the 500,000 square-foot plant as firefighters tried to put out all the flames. Westbury Fire Department Chief Kenneth Gass Jr. said the blaze is something that cannot be remedied in a day as far as full extinguishment. Portions of the building have collapsed and parts of the roof have collapsed, according to the fire chief. “The entire building is compromised,” he said. Officials confirmed Thursday morning there appeared to be no injuries.
WPIX-TV CW 11 New York

Washington state agencies come together to film ’slow down, move over’ PSA after serious towing crashes

Clark County Fire District 6 officials say it’s the deadliest job in America: towing disabled cars off the side of the freeway. In just the past few months, three tow truck drivers were in serious crashes in southwest Washington. “I think people have been cooped up for so long that they really want to get out and get going and we’ve noticed it,” said David Schmitke, the public information officer and public education coordinator for CCFD6. On Wednesday, people from AAA Washington, WSP, WSDOT, and local towing companies came together to shoot a public service announcement to remind drivers of the law: to slow down and move over. “For me, if people don’t do it, we don’t get to go home. We’ve had too many operators hit, a couple struck and killed lately in our local area,” said Jake Beals with Triple J Towing. “We want to go home to our families, too. If you don’t slow down and move over, there needs to be penalties. And it’s not the lives of us that needs to be penalized.”
KPTV FOX 12 Portland

Florida governor announces $1,000 pandemic bonus for first responders

Governor Ron DeSantis announced one-time pandemic bonuses for about 174,000 first responders in Florida Wednesday. DeSantis says the $1,000 bonuses will be given to law enforcement officers, paramedics, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and firefighters. “Supporting our law enforcement and first responders has been a top priority for my administration, and it has never been more important than over the last year. As a state, we are grateful for their continued service to our communities,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “This one-time bonus is a small token of appreciation, but we can never go far enough to express our gratitude for their selflessness.” “When the coronavirus came to Florida, our first responders worked overtime to protect our communities and get people the care they so desperately needed,” said Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis.
WJHG-TV NBC/CW+ 7 Panama City

Illinois State Fire Marshal recognizes Arson Awareness Week, urges arson plan review

The State Fire Marshal closed 53 cases of arson in 2020, and the office is working to make that number go down. The United States Fire Administration says that over 210,000 fires every year are classified as arson. Those cases also result in 375 civilian deaths, 1,300 civilian injuries, and $1 billion in property damage. Firefighters go through particular training to deal with arson cases. Sometimes fires are set to mask other crimes, according to John High from the University of Illinois Fire Institute. He helps train firefighters to spot other hazards that can come with dealing with arson. The Illinois State Fire Marshal is encouraging departments to revisit their plans for dealing with Arson. “Arson is a serious crime and I encourage communities and fire departments to work together to help raise awareness to prevent these fires that are costing people their lives and needlessly putting firefighters in dangerous situations. If you see something, say something,” said Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez.
WCIA-TV CBS 3 Champaign

11 states have vaccinated at least 50% of their population

With demand for coronavirus vaccines declining in parts of the country, the Biden administration announced a change in strategy this week, adopting a more targeted approach for reaching America’s not-yet-vaccinated population. Despite the nation’s relatively smooth and speedy rollout, there’s still a lot of work to do—and a fair amount of doubt, per the week’s reports on herd immunity, that it’ll get done. As of May 5, 148.6 million Americans, or 44.7% of the total population, had received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, up from 142.7 million a week ago, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That relatively small change is dwarfed by the increase in the number of fully vaccinated individuals in the past week: 107.3 million Americans, which includes 70.1% of seniors, 41.3% of adults, and 32.3% of the total population have been fully vaccinated, up from 98 million last week.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Woman dead, 2 men hospitalized after apartment fire in New York

VIDEO: A woman has died, a man is in critical condition and another man is hospitalized after a multi-alarm blaze at an apartment building in the Bronx early Wednesday morning. Fire broke out on the third floor of the building in the 3200 block of Park Avenue just before 5 a.m. and quickly went to three alarms. Video from the Citizen app showed flames shooting through the roof after fire officials say the flames spread up through an interior void. It took more than 90 minutes for firefighters to bring the blaze under control. FDNY officials say eleven people were injured, three seriously. Those three were found unconscious and taken to a Lincoln Hospital with injuries described as life-threatening. A 91-year-old woman succumbed to her injuries. An 80-year-old man is in critical condition, and a 54-year-old man is stable. Eight other people plus one firefighter were treated for minor injuries. Fire investigators are working to determine the cause.
WABC-TV ABC 7 New York

Atlanta firefighters targeted for vandalism while on call

VIDEO: Atlanta firefighters early Tuesday morning got a radio call. They jumped into the engine after midnight for the run. A thief decided it was time to go to work. Someone jumped a compromised portion of back fencing at Atlanta Fire Station 2 located along Jonesboro Road and went after the personal vehicles of the first responders. With some unknown object, the thief smashed windows or forced doors open. Six cars in all damaged. When the firefighters returned, they found glass everywhere. Enclosing the parking lot is security fencing including some barbed wire at the top. But in the rear, there is a small section of fencing -- one half as tall as the other sections. That is how police believe the thief made his way inside. "It's outrageous," said Michael Bond. "These are the men and women who go out and risk their lives to protect all of us."
WAGA-TV FOX 5 Atlanta

Pennsylvania Firefighters Get Cooking Lesson From Rachel Ray on International Firefighters Day

VIDEO: Tuesday, May 4th is International Firefighters Day, a day to honor firefighters for their service, including our own. And some members of the Erie Fire Department got a special treat Tuesday night, a virtual cooking lesson from celebrity cook, Rachel Ray! Rachel Ray is on the board of the Leary Firefighters Foundation, which gives grants to fire departments across the nation for life-saving equipment. The City of Erie Fire Department recently received more than $15,00 from the foundation for bailout equipment and training, which will allow firefighters to escape a burning building should they become trapped inside. And they got this remote cooking lesson as added bonus Tuesday, on a day specifically to honor firefighters, “It's very nice that people take the time to remember the men and women who are out there serving and protecting them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year,” said EFD Deputy Chief Fred Gillespie.
Erie News Now

Person with garden hose spotted trying to help crews take down Los Angeles fire

VIDEO: As crews worked to take down a large fire in South Los Angeles, a person with a garden hose was spotted trying to help the firefighters out. The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to what was initially a literal dumpster fire in the 100 block of West 75th Street in Los Angeles Tuesday evening. The fire extended to the home's detached garage, threatening nearby structures, LAFD said. As SkyFOX hovered over the scene, the guy with the garden hose was standing on top of the roof trying to take matters into his own hands. As of Tuesday night, it's unclear if the garden hose guy lives at the home or was a good Samaritan.
KTTV FOX 11 Los Angeles

Connecticut father, daughter attend fire school together to become certified firefighters

VIDEO: Some coworkers are like family, but there are two firefighters in Canton that are actually related. In honor of International Firefighters Day, Channel 3 is introducing you to a father and daughter who took bonding to new heights and fighting fires is part of their day to day. “I started off as an EMT about 14 years ago, and a year and a half or so ago, I looked at our ranks and saw we needed some help on the fire side,” said Gerry Holland. Gerry Holland was already an exterior firefighter for Canton, but he wanted to be certified with interiors as well, so with the help of the Litchfield County Regional Fire School, he signed up and will soon be certified along with about 20 others. One of those other people is very close to him. “Watching my dad as I grew up, he is really one of my inspirations and to every little girl, their dad is their hero, and then quickly realized that he’s not only my hero, but everyone else’s too,” said Anna Holland.
WFSB-TV CBS 3 Hartford

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