Showing posts with label Fire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fire. Show all posts

April 9, 2018

One Death Plus Injuries At Trump Tower Without Life Saving Sprinklers Which Trump Did Not Want

Can you imagine a country with no rules or regulations? Yes too much of anything is the opposite of good. When you put saving money (particualry for thoe that have plesnty) against life saving or health issues, there should eb no argument. Trump doe snot agree. He has taken out. alot of regultions to save money on major industries like aviation, car manufacturing, food production and pollution on the environment. When major disasters occurs we will have to go all the way back to when the decissions to have the regualtions happened. We in NYC,  have a lot of experience with fires and is not bcause we learnt it from books but from the experience of major disasters on our high rises.

President Donald Trump previously lobbied against a proposed bill requiring high-rise buildings, like Trump Tower, to install life-saving sprinkler systems. A fire in his 5th Avenue building Saturday, with no sprinklers present, left one person dead and multiple firefighters injured. 
Then one of New York’s most prominent real estate developers, Trump in 1999 rang city officials to argue against proposed legislation that would have required high-rise landlords to install the systems following fatal high-rise fires in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
The December 1998 blazes killed nine people, including seven firemen.

Broken and burned windows are seen after a fire broke out on the 50th floor of Trump Tower on April 7, 2018 in New York City. One person has reportedly died and four firefighters were injured in the four-alarm blaze.

According to a 1999 New York Post report, Trump was the most prominent member of a powerful real estate lobby opposed to reform, and complained he couldn’t afford to install sprinklers. At $4 per square foot, he argued that the sprinklers were too expensive to install in an entire building.
The Mayor Rudolph Giuliani era bill was eventually altered to exclude older buildings such as Trump Tower (built in 1979 and opened in 1983), or buildings for which permits had already been submitted, such as Trump’s 72-floor tower opposite the UN building in New York, Trump World Tower.
Under the bill, signed into law in March 1999, all new high-rise residential buildings were required to install sprinklers and developers were obliged to install sprinklers when existing high-rise buildings undergo renovations. 
Trump told the New York Times that he had modified his views and would install sprinklers in Trump World Tower residential units at the cost of $3 million because it made people feel safer. 
Last night’s blaze tore through part of the 50th floor of the 5th Avenue Trump Tower.
"We found fire on the 50th floor of the building. The apartment was entirely on fire. Members pushed in heroically, they were knocking down the fire and found one occupant of the apartment," Daniel Nigro, Commissioner of the New York City Fire Department, said. 
That resident, a 67 year-old man, was found by firefighters passed out from fume inhalation, and later died in hospital. Seven firefighters were also injured in the blaze.

"This was a very difficult fire. As you can imagine, the apartment is quite large, we are 50 stories up," Nigro said. 

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January 7, 2018

Tina Johnson's (Roy Moore Accuser) House Fire Seems to Be Arson {What a Coincidence}

Authorities in Alabama are investigating a fire that destroyed the home of Tina Johnson, who accused Senate candidate Roy Moore of groping her in his office in 1991.

The fire at Johnson's home in Gadsden, Ala., occurred on Jan. 2 and was first reported by

"I am devastated, just devastated. We have just the clothes on our backs," said Johnson on Friday morning as quoted by

In a brief statement issued by the Etowah County Sheriff's Office, authorities say "investigators are speaking to a person of interest."

"The on-going investigation does not lead us to believe that the fire is in any way related to Roy Moore or allegations made against him," adds the statement.

No one was hurt in the blaze which occurred while Johnson and her husband were at work.

According to, neighbors say they "witnessed a young man who had a history of public intoxication walking around the house before and during the blaze."

Johnson was 28 years old in 1991 when she visited Moore's office with her mother to discuss a custody dispute. Johnson alleges that as she was leaving the meeting Moore "grabbed my behind."

Moore has denied the allegations made by Johnson and other young women who accused him of improper sexual contact. The charges became the focal point of Moore's unsuccessful election campaign to fill the seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when he became Attorney General. Moore, a Republican running in a deeply red state, was defeated by Democrat Doug Jones.


Tina Johnson's home on Lake Mary Louise Road in Gadsden burned on Jan. 2, 2018. The Etowah County Arson Task Force is investigating, and the sheriff's department has spoken with a "suspect of interest." (Submitted)

Tina Johnson's home on Lake Mary Louise Road in Gadsden burned on Jan. 2, 2018. The Etowah County Arson Task Force is investigating, and the sheriff's department has spoken with a "suspect of interest." (Submitted)

Roy Moore accuser Tina Johnson lost her home Wednesday in a fire that is now under investigation by the Etowah County Arson Task Force.
Tina Johnson, who first came to public notice for accusing Senate candidate Roy Moore of grabbing her in his office in the early 1990s, said her home on Lake Mary Louise Road in Gadsden caught fire Tuesday morning.
After neighbors and some utility workers called 911 shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday, the Lookout Mountain Fire Department responded to the scene. By the time the flames were extinguished, Johnson and her family had lost everything they owned.
"I am devastated, just devastated," said Johnson on Friday morning. "We have just the clothes on our backs."
Nobody appears to have been harmed in the blaze; Johnson and her husband were at work, and her grandson was at school.
"That fire is still under investigation by the Etowah County Arson Task Force," said Natalie Barton, public information officer with the Etowah County Sheriff's Department. "A suspect of interest is being spoken to. But there have been no charges, to my knowledge, related to the fire at this time."
Barton later released a statement, saying, "The ongoing investigation does not lead us to believe that the fire is in any way related to Roy Moore or allegations made against him. More details will be released when warrants are obtained."
"I threw on my coveralls and took off down the driveway," he said. His wife called 911 at 8:26 a.m. but the dispatcher said they'd already received a call about the fire. "I got up there," he said, "and (the fire) was already pretty well started. When the fire department got there, I started helping them."
Johnson said she has not yet heard from law enforcement how or why the fire started, except that it started at the back of the house.
She said a woman neighbor told her that the young man in question approached her as she was getting in her car that morning and asked if she thought Johnson's house was going to burn. The neighbor didn't know what he was talking about, she said, because flames weren't visible at the time.
Johnson and her family are currently living in a motel. On Friday morning, she was headed to Wal-Mart to purchase toiletries and other necessities. She said she is thankful for good neighbors, who have rallied around the family. "My neighbors are just heartbroken, too," she said. "They're pulling together and helping us out."
Tallant said the Johnsons are good neighbors. He'd been over at her house recently, sharing some turnip greens.
"She's a super good neighbor," he said. "I like people like that. I hope they build back there."

November 7, 2017

The Portugal People Demand Justice for Victims of Fires that Ravage Part of Their Country

Various Portuguese cities protested on 21 October for better services to prevent forest fires. Image: screenshot, Eu, a Rainha e 3 princesas. (YouTube)
On 21 October, in various major cities in Portugal, hundreds of people came out to demand justice for victims that were killed by massive forest fires that had torn through parts of the country.
Forty-two people died and around 70 were injured in forest fires on 15-16 October, leading the government to declare three days of mourning for the victims and their famillies.
Fires were also reported in the Spanish region of Galicia, where four people died.
An estimated 500 fires have spread through Portugal's northern and central regions, burning around 250,000 hectares of forests and affecting various villages.

In June 2017, forest fires left 64 dead in Pedrógão Grande, Portugal. Image: screenshot, Despertar da Consciência Cósmica (YouTube)
In June, a similar tragedy took place in Pedrógão Grande — a municipality in the center of the country — with fires leaving 64 dead and more than 200 injured.
According to the European Forest Fire Information System, which monitors forested areas via satellite images, around 500,000 hectares of forest have burned in 2017 alone – an area roughly twice the size of the district of Lisbon. 

To understand the seriousness of the situation, only 4 districts have no fires. Portugal is literally burning Various videos were shared online and they gave glimpses of the devastation:

A tragedy forewarned

The aims of Saturday’s protests were to demand better state measures to prevent and fight fires.
Questions were raised over the inability of the civil protection service to control the tragedy. João Soveral, of the Confederation of Farmers of Portugal, told the newspaper Público:
After Pedrógão, they closed streets and evacuated villages for everything and nothing. This Sunday, they did not do this anywhere, there were tens of reports of open roads surrounded by fire. In Leiria's forests there could have been a tragedy similar to that of June because they only closed roads very late.
The protesters also called into question the many years that construction permits were given to projects in high fire risk zones. A proposal of stricter forestry reform presented by the government — after large fires in 2003 and 2005 — was questioned by councils, which complained that the rule was a barrier to investment.
“The government introduced a flexibilization of the law that authorized constructions on a case by case basis, depending on whether or not the applicant had means of self-protection – there was an open door for anything to be built”, added João Sorval, in the same report by Público.
The environmental organization, Quercus, brought attention to the large areas of eucalyptus, a tree of highly flammable wood whose growth, ironically, tends to expand after fires of this type.
On top of the growing list of issues, during the 15-16 October fires, citizens who attempted to look for information or tried to contact relatives on the website of Portugal’s Civil Protection, found that the site was offline.
It was a private initiative that assumed the role of sharing information; using the civil protection’s own data, the application informed people of the location of fires and their status in real time.
The project was created in 2015 by the programmer João Pina to facilitate the work of firefighters, and it became so important during that fateful October weekend that servers could not manage the 400,000 users and the 1.5 million views it received. 
Impossible to remain indifferent to this tragedy. Solidarity with relatives and friends of the victims. Total support for the firefighters risking their lives to help in the best way possible.
Whether the Portuguese government will heed the cries of its people is anyone’s guess, but in the meantime, the country continues to burn.

Global Voices

August 9, 2017

Gay Family Sues After Their 6 Bedroom House is Burnt Down

Tensions were high between the residents of Hitchcock, Okla., and Randy Gamel-Medler when his six-bedroom dream home burned down earlier this year in a suspicious fire. 
Hitchcock is a town like many others in the largely agrarian state — a rural community of a little over 100 people that a handful of families have called home for generations. Gamel-Medler, 59, moved there from Fort Worth, Texas, in 2014 to begin renovations on his retirement home, a fixer-upper that used to be the judge's house, and to give his young son the backyard he always wanted. 
Randy Gamel-Medler and his family. Courtesy of Randy Gamel-Medler
Gamel-Medler went to work upgrading the house and started getting involved in local politics. It wasn't long before he became the town clerk. It was then that he and the locals began to feud over how the town should be run. 
Along with the fire that burned down his home (and is currently under criminal investigation), Gamel-Medler described a number of interactions with locals that provide the basis for his civil rights lawsuit, filed on August 3, against nine residents of Blaine County, Okla., including Sheriff Tony Almaguer, Undersheriff David Robertson, Hitchcock Mayor Rick Edsall and six others. 
"What Are You Going to Do When Your House Burns Down?"
According to Gamel-Medler, he had a disturbing interaction with one of the town's trustees at a September 2016 board meeting, which occurred just one month after he brought his 7-year-old son, who is African-American, to live with him and his husband in Hitchcock. 
"Meredith Norris, one of the trustees, had seen him in the yard and asked if he was our son," Gamel-Medler told NBC News. "She said to me, 'What are you going to do when your house burns down and we don't send out the fire trucks?'" 
According to the lawsuit, Gamel-Medler filed a police report afterward with the Blaine County Sheriff's Office, but no criminal action was taken. 
We're Not "Racist and Homophobic"
Gamel-Medler also recalled an incident in early May, a few weeks before the fire, where Jonita Pauls Jacks, who is named in the lawsuit, allegedly attempted to enter his car while he was performing his duties on the road as town clerk. When he locked the door, he said Jacks shook his truck and said, "You f-----g queer, I’m going to grab your little boy, rip his n----r head off and sh-t down his throat." 
Gamel-Medler said he immediately brought the incident to Sheriff Almaguer, who allegedly said Jacks was practicing free speech. "No report, nobody does anything," Gamel-Medler said. 
Undersheriff Robertson vehemently denied any racism or homophobia from the townsfolk, though he confirmed the feuds. 
"I got to know him very well from all the complaints and allegations that he made, and I cannot find one person who made any racist statements against his child or against him for being a homosexual," Robertson told the Associated Press. "We don't take too kindly to being called racist and homophobic because we're not." 
NBC News was told by the Blaine County Sheriff's Office that Sheriff Almaguer would not be available to comment on the case until next week, and the other defendants could not be reached for comment. 
"The Town Clerk Is a F-----g Queer"
Gamel-Medler said many of the townspeople didn't hide their homophobic views and claimed the deputy sheriff and undersheriff were aware of it. A few days before his house burned down, he said two of the people named in the suit, Kenny, and Patsy Meier, erected a sign in front of the post office, where he and his son often walked, that read "The town clerk is a f-----g queer." 
"Patsy admitted to the deputy that she and her husband had put up the sign in front of the post office," Gamel-Medler claimed. "The deputy said, 'Ms. Meier, you just admitted to a hate crime.' Then the undersheriff shows up, and there's no crime. They just let it go." 
It was then, Gamel-Medler said, that a sheriff's deputy not named in the lawsuit advised him to get out of town, allegedly saying, "These people are serious. They're going to kill you, they're going to kill your son, and they're going to burn your house down." 
"Everything That We Had Is Gone"
On May 28, the night his house burned down, Gamel-Medler said he heard a noise like glass breaking in his garage. He called the sheriff to report a burglary, then saw a fire in his garage and called the fire department. Despite being a block away from the fire station, Gamel-Medler alleged the department did nothing for an extended period of time. 
"No sirens, no calls to other towns. They didn't even save the grass," he said. "All of my family records dating back to the Civil War, photographs, the first seven years of my son's life, his karate trophy, his bike, his baptism book, all gone." 
The lawsuit alleges that some Hitchcock residents, including defendants Patsy and Kenny Meier, watched the fire from their lawn chairs nearby. 
Undersheriff Robertson told the Associated Press that Gamel-Medler's story about the fire is inconsistent with the evidence. There are currently separate investigations into the fire being conducted by the Blaine County Sheriff's Department, an insurance company, and the state fire marshal's office, according to Robertson, but no charges have yet been filed in connection with the blaze. 
Gamel-Medler said any suggestion he is involved in the fire is outrageous. "We lost everything from 27 years," he said. "Everything that we had is gone." 
"Intersection of Hate"
Troy Stevenson, executive director of Freedom Oklahoma, called the situation in Hitchcock "horrific" and said it shows the "intersection of hate aimed at both the African-American and LGBTQ communities." 
"I've never seen anything like this. It's like something out of the '50s or '60s," Stevenson told NBC News 
Gamel-Medler has since moved to El Paso, Texas. He said ideally he would go back to Hitchcock, but he has been warned not to, and he said he would be concerned for his family's safety. 
"The part that bothers me the most is, I should be able to go anywhere in Oklahoma and live anywhere I want and live peacefully with my son," he said. "But I can’t. Not in Hitchcock." 
 NBC Out 

July 31, 2017

Barcelona Festival is Destroyed by Flames

Flames engulf an outdoor stage at the Tomorrowland festival in Barcelona on Saturday night.

CNN-More than 22,000 fans were evacuated after a fire erupted on stage at the Tomorrowland music festival in Spain, authorities said. 
No injuries were reported as attendees fled the concert area near Barcelona late Saturday night, the city's fire officials said in a statement.
"At this time, the fire is totally extinct although very hot areas remain and the entire assembly structure is at risk of collapsing," the statement said.
The fire was caused by a technical malfunction, according to a post on the Tomorrowland website.  "Authorities will follow up and continue the investigation with the local Spanish organizer," the post said.
Festival attendee Abel Radakovich told CNN that a calm and orderly evacuation helped keep everyone safe.
"No one died because people evacuated walking," Radakovich said. "If someone ran, they told him not to because it could form an avalanche and crush people."
"Luckily we managed to stay calm," he said.
The music festival takes place in different locations simultaneously, with the main stage based in Belgium.
Tomorrowland hosted its first event in 2005 and has grown in popularity since. In 2013, tickets for the event sold out in one second.

By Paul LeBlanc, CNN

November 3, 2016

Black Church In Mississippi Burnt in the Name of Trump

A black church in Greenville, Mississippi, was set on fire on Tuesday night. Fire fighters arrived to find Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church “heavily engulfed in flames,” Mayor Errick Simmons said in an interview;  the fire took nearly an hour to contain. No one was in the church at the time, and no one was injured. On the side of the church, beneath the blackened windows and roof, the words “Vote Trump” have been spray painted.

The fire is being investigated as a hate crime, Simmons said. Federal authorities, including the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives, are helping local authorities with the investigation, which is part of the standard procedure for church fires. “We’re very cautious in this climate, in this day and time, to make sure we’re very deliberate in investigating matters like this,” Simmons said. This fire was “a direct assault on people’s right to free worship,” he said, and later added during a press conference, “I see this as an attack on the black church and the black community.”
In September, Simmons said, city officials found the word “nigger” painted on a boat front down by Greenville’s levee on the Mississippi River. The 34,000-person city is predominantly black, and while there is “a concerted, intentional effort for racial reconciliation among the races” in Greenville, he said, there have also been “cowardly acts of folks doing something.” In the days leading up to the election, the city will be placing additional patrols around all places of worship.

By and large, Simmons said, he expects the people of Greenville and the surrounding county of Washington will support Hillary Clinton.

Arson is notoriously difficult to prove. Last summer, when a spate of fires took place at black churches in South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, and elsewhere, investigators looked into whether they were religiously or racially motivated crimes—if the fires were intentionally set at all. Unless someone leaves “you a message in some way that makes it very obvious,” a staffer for the National Fire Protection Association told me at the time, it’s hard to know whether or not a burning was motivated by hate.

In this case, though, someone left a calling card about politics. It’s not yet clear who set the fire, if anyone set it; whether the person who set the fire is the same person who wrote the graffiti; or why, if the fire was intentional, Hopewell M.B. Church was the target. One thing is clear, though: At some point, someone decided to attach the name of Trump to a burned black church.

This act comes with heavy symbolism in the United States. Black churches have long been burned in acts of intimidation and hatred; in the Jim Crow South, members of hate groups would leave flaming crosses on churchyard lawns. The bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, came at a time of extreme racial division in the United States; it was that crime, which killed four young black girls, that led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. “The black church has always been a symbol of the community,” Simmons said during a press conference. When he met congregants in Hopewell M.B. Church on Tuesday night, “I talked to folks who were fearful. I talked to folks who were  intimidated. And quite frankly, [they] were saddened and crying,” he said. “That should not happen in 2016. It happened in the ’50s. It happened in the ’60s. But it should not happen in 2016.”

Less than a week away from Election Day, America is having to contend with violence. Trump supporters, including some white nationalists, are allegedly planning to monitor polls, especially in places with large populations of black voters, and local political parties have already reported incidents of harassment. This month, a local Republican political office in Hillsborough, North Carolina, was firebombed, with the message “Nazi Republicans leave town or else” spray painted on a building nearby.

This is a tense time in American politics. The burning of Hopewell M.B. Church is a sign of how bad things have gotten, and what may be still to come. “What we have to do is come together,” Simmons said. “The only thing that conquers hate is love.”

April 4, 2012

Fire on Macy*s 34 St NYC

Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal
Credit: Rob Bennett
Firefighters have put out a blaze that broke out in the basement of Macy’s flagship store in Manhattan on Wednesday.
There were no reports of injuries at the store in Herald Square, according to the Associated Press. An FDNY spokesman said about 60 firefighters responded to the department store fire after it was reported at about 3:15 p.m.
As the Journal reported last year, Macy’s has launched a $400 million makeover of its flagship store that is expected to continue through 2015. Added to the iconic retail location will be new technology to help customers shop, the world’s biggest women’s shoe store and dining with a view of the Empire State Building:
All told, Macy’s said it will add 100,000 square feet of selling space and improve the presentation of key merchandise categories such as apparel and cosmetics. The store right now is 2.2 million square feet, with half of that space devoted to selling and the other half used for offices, storerooms and other administrative functions.
Early reports from AP said there was no immediate indication of how the fire started or if it was related to the expansion work.

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