KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, FIREFIGHTERS arrived at a house fire early this morning (Sunday) to find the garage fully involved with extension into the attic and rear of the home.
The call came in at 3 am and reportedly there was nobody home at the time, suggesting a delayed reporting. Some of the neighbors told KCTV that they suspected the presence of "chemicals" or gasoline stored in the garage because the owner ran a motorcycle repair/building business out of his home.
KCTV has the story HERE and filed this brief raw video:
UPDATE, 12:30 pm Eastern: Additional information and more video added. Scroll down.
FOUR CHILDREN AND TWO ADULTS have been confirmed dead this morning (Monday) following a large house fire in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.
The fire began shortly before midnight Sunday and rapidly filled the entire home before the first-in units arrived on the scene. The fire was difficult to fight because of access to the house and a quick collapse of the roof and upper floor.
WNEP-TV filed this early report from the scene:
According to the coroner's office, four children ages 2, 3, 7, and 8 were killed along with their father age 30. His sister-in-law age 26 also perished, however the children's mother was not at home at the time of the blaze.
The state police fire marshal is on the scene awaiting the opportunity to get inside. There is no indication yet on the cause of the fire. Five firefighters suffered not-serious injuries.
Republican-Herald / Meyer
Units are still on the scene at the time of this posting and no further information is yet available.
SpankMan posted this raw video of the blaze:
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Fire and Film has more extensive video:
The Pottsville Republican-Herald has the early STORY.
Fire officials said seven people lived in the home. Just one adult, the mother, survived. She was across the street in another house doing laundry.
The initial call was apparently to the police department for a disturbance. A neighbor tried to get in but couldn't. Fire crews were called in and arrived within minutes, but there was little they could do. Pottsville Fire Chief Todd March said, "When the police got here, and the neighbors, they all tried to get in the back of the building. One of our police officers tried to get into the basement door in the front. He got in so far, but there was flames were already coming down the stairs from the second floor down to the first."
The fire crews got water in the fire immediately, March said, but within five minutes the entire front of the building was engulfed in flames.
"The neighbors smelled smoke, including the mother, and they came out to see what was going on, and they just saw it, you know, heavily involved in the back of the building, a lot of smoke coming out the front," March said.
The neighbors' response was apparently what led to the "disturbance" call to police, according to the fire chief.
All of the victims were found in the bedrooms and were believed to be asleep at the time of the fire. Two were in the back bedroom, one was in the middle bedroom, and three were in the front bedroom.
The fire is believed to have started in or near the kitchen and the investigation is first concentrating on the home's furnace and the kitchen stove as the possible origin.
A 28-YR.-OLD WOMAN AND FOUR CHILDREN under age six died in an early-morning house fire Saturday in Newnan, Georgia (Coweta County).
The adult, Lalonna McCrary was the mother of two of the children ages 5 and 2. A third daughter age 11 escaped the blaze with the aid of two passersby. The other two victims ages 3 and 1 were family members staying with the McCrarys.
FIVE CHILDREN WHO WERE spending Easter weekend with their father died early Sunday morning when their house in Saint-Quentin, France, caught fire.
The children's parents were separated recently and their father was the only adult in the house when the fire started just before midnight.
All five children, ages 2 to 9, were on the second floor and the father, who slept on the ground floor, was burned badly when he attempted to reach them usuccessfully. He has been transferred from the local hospital to a burn unit in a larger city.
Several neighbors attempted to get inside the house to try and save the children, but the flames were too intense.
The firefighters were also unable to reach the children's bedrooms because the floor had already collapsed. After the fire was knocked down they were able to work their way through the smoke and locate them. All were already dead from the smoke.
Initially it is believed that the fire was accidental. Autopsies on the children will be perfomed Monday. Their mother has been taken to a psychological clinic to be treated for the shock.
A BOWIE COUNTY, TEXAS, WOMAN was disappointed to find a snake in her garden Wednesday evening. Instead of encouraging the creature to move along to somebody else's garden, she decided to execute the interloper herself.
The unidentified woman got her portable gasoline can and poured some gas on the snake and then set it alight. The snake, having never been taught the stop-drop-and-roll procedure, took off slithering into a brush pile next to the house and set it on fire. The burning brush then extended to the house itself.
When the fire department arrived they were faced with a single-family dwelling fully involved and spreading to the house next door.
MACON, GEORGIA, FIREFIGHTERS WERE dispatched to a house fire at 1:35 am Sunday morning and found a single-family dwelling with fire showing. A good primary search turned up four children ages 3 to 10, all unresponsive. All of them were taken out and CPR begun, but only one was able to be resuscitated.
Just as the first-in company was beginning operations the children's mother showed up on the scene from elsewhere. Killed in the blaze were 10-year-old Nykhia Williams, 7-year-old Daija Williams and 9-year-old Jamarrion Williams. 3-year-old Jalon Williams was transported to the Burn Center in Augusta and remains in critical condition.
The investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire.
A LARGE, 2-½ STORY WOODFRAME HOUSE in Adams County, Pennsylvania, had extensive damage after a chimney fire extended into the walls Friday night.
The fire started when a guest of the homeowner lit the woodstove at the base of the chimney around 6:30 pm. Soon after, he smelled smoke and saw smoke coming out of the walls. After calling the FD, he safely left the house.
The first-in units from the Liberty Fire Company in East Berlin found smoke showing throughout the house on arrival and laid a 600-ft. supply line up the lengthy driveway. A tanker was used to shuttle water from a creek some distance from the house.
As operations were beginning, fire broke through between the chimney and the exterior wall.
The first line in was able to get a direct attack on the fire and it was brought under control in about 20 minutes. Another hour was needed to fully extinguish the fire that had gotten into the 2nd floor and the attic.
Two firefighters had minor injuries, one for smoke inhalation and the other a sprained knee. Damages are estimated to be at least $100,000.
The Hanover Evening Sun has the STORY. 911 Photography has more details and an 84-image photo gallery HERE.
A 2-ALARM FIRE CAUSED HEAVY DESTRUCTION to a York County, Pennslyvania, home Wednesday afternoon. The homeowner had left the 5,000 sq. ft. house at 10:30 am to run an errand and when he returned 45 minutes later he found an expanding fire on the 2nd floor.
911 Photograpy / Steve Roth
The first-arriving engine found fire showing on arrival and impediments including no water supply. The first-due officer has submitted this situation report:
At 11:33, Wednesday, October 10, first alarm units were dispatched to 3599 Baumgardner Road (Box 52-22, Pleasant Hill VFC first-due) for a reported house fire. Captain 46C (Amspacher) was the first arriving officer and established the "Baumgardner Road Command". He was greeted with fire showing from the windows of a room on the C/D corner of a large, two-story single family home that was (down) a narrow lane.
911 Photography / Steve Roth
Additionally, fire had begun to run the soffit line of the C and D sides of the house. Engine 49-1 arrived not long after and dropped its supply line at the driveway and laid in. Crews led off with two 2" attack lines to the second floor of the structure. There, interior crews encountered one bedroom well involved and fire taking hold of the attic space. Crews mounted an interior attack for several minutes, but were withdrawn from the structure due to involvement of the attic space.
911 Photography / Steve Roth
Once the structure was evacuated, crews knocked down the bulk of the visible fire from the exterior with handlines and a Blitzfire. Extensive overhaul was required due to the construction of the home which was built in a modular fashion. Due to the narrow driveway and limited access, no aerial device was able to make the house and ground ladders had to be utilized. Water supply was established via a tanker shuttle with a draft source of Lake Marburg. No firefighter or civilian injuries were reported and crews cleared the scene around 16:30 hrs.
911 Photography / Steve Roth
The State Police fire investigator has not yet determined the cause, but he says that initially it appears to be accidental. Captain Amspacher says that it is possible that the house could be total loss. The damage estimate was not given.
The Hanover Evening Sun has some background information HERE.
A LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, MAN AND HIS SON were killed Thursday evening when gasoline vapors from the carport entered their house and ignited.
The man, whose identity has not been released, was working on his boat under the carport and had apparently been draining gasoline from it into a can. Vapors from the gasoline drifted into the house and then something in the carport ignited them, causing a flash fire and triggering an explosion of the vapors in the house. Within moments the entire house was fully involved in the fire.
from Pazamidon video
The man was fatally injured in the carport and his teenage son ran indoors to call 9-1-1 and was trapped in there where he met his death. Two police officers were close by when the heard the ka-boom and raced to the scene where they tried unsuccessfully to get inside to rescue the boy. They were able to rescue the mother who was just inside the door. All the windows were covered with security bars.
A neighbor posting as Pazamidon took this home video:
According to fire investigators, some of the gasoline spilled or vaporized and somehow found an ignition source. The father caught fire, leading his son – who was identified by the Clark County Coroner's office as 13-year-old Mirion Jackson – to go inside the home to call for help, LVFR said.
Investigators, though, said the flash fire from the boat spread flames and smoke into the home, causing an explosion that trapped the boy inside. Firefighters were able to knock down most of the flames within 15 minutes of arriving, LVFR said.
Crews found the boy unresponsive inside the home. He was transported to University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The boy's father died at the scene.
The boy's mother and two police officers were also hospitalized. Fire officials reported smoke inhalation injuries for the officers.
A FIRE IN A VACANT HOUSE EARLY TUESDAY morning quickly spread to the homes on each side before the Chicago Fire Department was able to knock it down.
The fire was discovered around 1 am and was already extending into the homes on each side when the first units arrived. The intial attack was hindered when the roof and the second floor of the fire building collapsed. The FD mounted an aggressive containment and, using master streams, had the fire knocked down in an hour.
WBBM-TV posted this video report this morning that includes some fire footage:
No injuries were reported, but at least ten people have been displaced from their homes that were destroyed. The house where the fire started was unoccupied and undergoing renovation.
A HOUSE FIRE IN PORT JERVIS, NEW YORK, brought fire companies from N.Y., Pennsylvania and New Jersey to the scene where they battled both the heat and the fire in four houses Thursday afternoon.
The initial alarm was dispatched around 2:30 pm Eastern and the first arriving engine found fire showing on all four sides of a wood-frame single-family dwelling with the fire already extending to the house next door. With two more exposures starting to be affected, extra alarms were called that brought about 150 firefighters from 20 departments to the scene.
New Jersey Herald
The outside temperature was in the high-90's and frequent rotations were required.
At least five firefighters and one civilian were treated for heat exhaustion
(Times-Herald Record photo)
The Times-Herald Record posted this raw video from the fireground:
The owner of the 2nd house that suffered major destruction said that earlier this week code enforcement officers had visited the house where the fire started. "I'm upset because there's been code violations there for a decade," he told the press.
The Times-Herald Record is also reporting:
Around 6:30 p.m., the Port Jervis Common Council called an emergency meeting on the lawn of a nearby home to vote to demolish the charred and gutted house where the fire started.
The fire was still burning in the basement because of an active gas line that couldn't be shut off.
Orange and Rockland Utilities would have to dig up the street in order to shut off the gas that was still feeding the fire at 9 p.m., according to Mayor Russell Potter.
(Port Jervis Fire Chief Jeff) Rhoades said the cause of the fire has not yet been determined and that Orange County will be investigating.
Read the Times-Herald Record's complete STORY HERE.
A ROWHOUSE IN UPPER DARBY, PENNSYLVANIA, had a kitchen fire Friday afternoon around 4 pm. When the FD arrived there was smoke showing and the firefighters found the kitchen well involved. It was starting to spread through the house, but they had a quick knockdown.
While they were overhauling, the living room ceiling collapsed without any warning and buried three firefighters under the debris. It is believed that it was a plaster ceiling and the three were injured. One of them was knocked unconscious and all of them suffered various shoulder and back injuries. They were all transported to hospitals and two of them were released later Friday night. The man who was unconscious was taken to a different facility and has since been revived. He is still hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.
A TAMPA, FLORIDA, TEEN (who is 6-ft. tall and weighs 275 lbs.) got into an argument with his mother Saturday over a cell phone that he claimed she had broken. In a rage, he grabbed her by the wrists and head-butted her on her forehead twice. She managed to run out of the house and drove away in her car before reporting the assault to the police. Shortly after, the officers arrived and arrested Aldwin Chyrstian Caceres, 18, charging him with domestic violence.
After posting bail early Sunday, he returned home and found his mother was not there. A witness told the police that he saw Caceres pour gasoline on his mother's bed and two couches in the living room before lighting them on fire. The resulting blaze gutted the modest home and the cops went looking for him once again.
WTVT Ch. 13 filed this video report:
According to the police, Caceres admitted to setting the fire before he was charged with 1st-degree arson and placed in jail without bond. "He's going to get help, too, because he is sick. Something is wrong with him, but I don't know what," his mother told BayNews9.
Neighbor (Melinda) Miller said she had called police about the children being left alone Friday night, but said they were released back into the care of their mother the next day.
Crystal Douga, who lives across the street from the trailer, said she had also called police about a month ago after she found the 2-year-old walking the streets alone at midnight.
The fire remains under investigation today and neither police nor fire officials were talking. The police have not released the identities of the children. A fifth child, Tyron, the oldest, was staying with relatives that night and was not at home at the time of the blaze.
McDade is currently being held in the Acadia Parish jail.
A FIRE IN AN OLDER SECTION OF THE CITY struck Albany, New York, Sunday night. A row of five houses in the historic Mansion District were heavily damaged, three of them gutted, when the fire which began around 8 pm started running the block.
Albany Times Union
When the first fire units arrived they found three homes already well-involved and concentrated on containment as they held the fire to five residences.
WNYT-TV filed this video report from the scene during the fire:
Today the streets nearby remain closed amid fear that some of the buildings may collapse. Investigation into the cause is continuing.
The Albany Times Union has the story and a photo gallery HERE.
AN ADAMS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, FIREFIGHTER was beginning a roof ventilation at a house fire Friday when the roof suddenly started to fail. His leg went through, but he was able to keep from going all the way into the fire.
The alarm was dispatched around 3 pm for the fire in a house in Reading Township that was working before the arrival of the FD. Steve Roth of 911 Photography was at the scene and prepared this narrative of the incident:
WIthin two minutes of dispatch, Reading Township police chief advised the Adams County Control Center it was a working fire. Chief 26 arrived to find a two story, single family dwelling with smoke and fire showing from the rear, a 2nd alarm was sounded as well as requested the state police fire marshal to the scene.
Steve Roth – 911 Photography
Lake Meade firefighters advanced handlines to the exterior of the house and began extinguishment, while Hampton firefighters advanced handlines to the interior.
A chief officer with Lake Meade assisted by a Hampton firemen went to cut a ventilation hole in the roof, within seconds, the Lake Meade officers leg went throuh the roof. He did not fall through, and was not injured.
Steve Roth photo
A tanker shuttle was set up for the water supply and the fire was knocked down quickly.
Steve Roth photo
There is no information yet on the cause, but it is not suspicious.
Well done! Some of my best training ideas come from your blog.
Always enjoy reading about the unusual!
Heavy Fire Loss
A MID-DAY FIRE IN MANHEIM TOWNSHIP, Lancaster County Pennsylvania, Tuesday caused at least $750,000 damage to a large house. According to the Intelligencer Journal, the owner of the house was leaving and getting into his car when two painters working on his barn came running up and reporting smoke showing from the roof. The three of them first tried to put the fire out with a garden hose, but the winds blew the flames beyond the hose's capability and they called the FD at 12:45.
Steve Roth / 911 Photography
The Intelligencer Journal continues:
By the time firefighters arrived just five minutes after the 12:45 p.m. alarm, (Fire Chief Rick) Kane said, "fire was showing through the roof" of a one-story sunroom, which contained an indoor swimming pool. Kane said the fire quickly "spread up the outside gable end of the house, got into the roof and ran across the roof."
Firefighters encountered a problem as soon as they arrived: The house sits at the end of what Kane called "an extremely long driveway." "We had some delay in establishing a … water supply because of the length of the driveway and the distance away of the fire hydrants," Kane said.
Steve Roth / 911 Photography
A second engine company — and plenty of hose — were needed, which caused a delay in getting water on the flames. The fire quickly spread from the sunroom to the attic of the 2 1/2-story brick home.
"That delay allowed the fire to get up into the roof area," Kane said. "Once we had the positive water established, we knocked the fire down fairly quickly."
Steve Roth / 911 Photography
The fire burned off the roof and caused extensive damage to the 2nd floor, but the FF's were able to protect a trophy room where the owner, a big-game hunter, has several mounted exotic animals. The firefighters were also able to salvage the furnishings on the first floor by carrying them out to another building.
AN EARLY-MORNING FIRE IN WARREN, OHIO, took the lives of four people, two adults and two children, Saturday. The fire began around 3:15 am and the call reporting it came from one of the two children, ages 9 and 13. "We're dying…we're dying…." she cried to the call-taker at 3:21. The first fire units arrived on scene just two minutes later.
The firefighters found the 2nd floor of the 2-story wood frame house fully involved and took a hose line right inside. Within a few seconds they had the lower level knocked down and were upstairs hitting the fire while performing a primary search. They found the two adults in one bedroom and the two children in another, all dead. The Warren Tribune Chronicle tells:
Fire Chief Ken Nussle said the fire was a fast one. ''It really accelerated,'' Nussle said. ''It burned very quickly and it was very hot.''
High winds early Saturday morning may have been a factor in how quickly the flames spread, Nussle said. He said firefighters had a clear shot up West Market Street and were there in just minutes of receiving the call.
The victims were found in two upstairs bedrooms, two to a bedroom, Nussle said. From the time the call came in until the flames were out was about 24 minutes, according to the fire report.
Later in the day the fire marshal disclosed that there were no working smoke detectors in the house.
WKBN-TV filed this video report from the scene:
The fire investigators do not expect to announce the point of origin or the cause before Tuesday, they said.
AN ARVADA, COLORADO, HOME HAD EXTENSIVE damage Saturday morning after a fire destroyed the garage and burned off the roof of the house.
Arvada FD / Scott Prible
The fire broke out around 4 am and when the first units arrived they found the garage fully involved and beginning to extend into the attic. Despite the below-freezing temperatures that turned the driveway into a "skating rink," they were able to contain the fire, but the loss was substantial.
The fire investigator found that the cause was an electric blanket that the residents were using to keep their cat warm. The animal was laying on its favorite chair in the garage when the blanket set the chair on fire and then spread to the entire garage.
Arvada FD / Scott Pribble
The house had working smoke detectors that awoke the family. All three residents escaped safely without injury, but the cat died.
THE DENVER, COLORADO, FIRE DEPARTMENT is in damage-control after a call-taker in the emergency dispatch center decided to disregard a 9-1-1 call for a "smell of smoke" in a neighborhood. When the fire creating the smokey smell in a vacant house broke through sending flames skyward, calls started pouring in to the dispatchers and they had no choice then but to dispatch it.
KMGH-TV relates the first caller's story:
Denver resident Torry Hughes told 7NEWS he received a call from his adult son around 4 a.m. The son, who lives a block away from Hughes, told him that he was getting ready for work when he smelled smoke in the neighborhood.
Hughes said he went out to walk the dog around 5:30 a.m. when he, too, smelled the smoke. He said it was dark so he couldn't see it.
"I smelled this heavy smoke. It smelled like something burning and I knew it was not a fireplace… It smelled like a house burning, so I immediately went and called the fire department," Hughes said.
He said he told the fire dispatcher that he smelled a house burning but he didn't know where it (was) coming from.
"He told me I was the only one that had called and that they got no other calls and if I saw anything like a fire to call back," Hughes said.
It was around 7 am after daylight when people in the neighborhood noticed the fire and started calling it in. When the FD arrived they found a single-family dwelling fully involved. The house had been vacant since it had been foreclosed by a mortgage-holder, however that had been only a few days ago.
Lt. Phil Champagne, a Denver Fire Department spokesman, told Ch. 9 News "There is an investigation underway to determine the cause of the fire and also whether firefighters should have been dispatched after the 5:30 a.m. call." Champaign says the caller could not identify where the smoke was coming from. "In our defense, we get a lot of those calls," Champaign said. "It's discretionary whether we send a truck."
"Had firefighters been dispatched, it is uncertain if they would have located the building anyway," Champaign said.
Channel 9 also filed this video report:
The DFD announced that a thorough investigation will be held and corrective actions will be taken. Interestingly, the FD spokesman also told the press that the dispatchers normally decline to dispatch fire units on about 10% of their call-ins.
Firegeezer interrupts with a comment: When I was on the job, if we could smell smoke or something burning, we NEVER left until we found out where it was coming from. To brush somebody off because there was only one call (at 5 am!!) is simply inexcusable. An engine should have been sent.
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AN AUTOMOBILE CARRYING THREE PEOPLE ran a red light at speed Sunday afternoon around 3 pm, clipped another car and then careened out of control into a house. As the car crashed through a front bedroom, it tore off a gas meter which led to an immediate ignition and the fire moved into the house within seconds.
All the residents were fortunate to be at the rear of the building during the crash, but less fortunate because they lost everything they owned as the interior of the house was gutted.
WXYZ-TV has this video report that includes some fire footage:
Other people already out in the neighborhood rushed to the car to help the occupants. They were able to cut the seat belt and pull the front-seat passenger to safety, but were unable to free the driver and had to go through the ordeal of watching him burn to death. The third passenger bolted and ran away.
WJBK-TV has a good interview with the man who saved the passenger's life:
Call Him "Prof. Porn," Now.
No… Call Him "Prof. Inmate" Now.
FIREFIGHTERS IN OCEAN COUNTY, NEW JERSEY, came across an unusual obstacle Tuesday while working a house fire. While the hose crews were doing their thing, the truckies were pulling drywall from the walls and ceiling in a 2nd-floor room when hundreds of photos started raining down on them from the ceiling. It only took a glance to identify them as a collection of child pornography.
While the house was still burning, the owner Gamal El-Zoghby, 75, arrived home and was "invited" to visit the police station where he was arrested and charged with one count of child endangerment.
The call was dispatched just before noon on Tuesday and the firefighters were on the scene until midnight working the architecturally unique house.
El-Zoghby, a New York City architect and professor at the Pratt Institute, designed and built the house in the late 1990s using a laminate of plywood, transparent fiberglass and resin. Firefighters discovered it also was constructed with a thin layer of stainless steel, part of the home’s defense against hurricane-force winds. That made it hard to cut access holes to get fire suppressant foam into burning interior spaces.
Asbury Park Press / McCarthy
El-Zoghby has worked at Pratt since 1969.
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A 4-YR.-OLD BOY ADMITTED THAT he was playing with a lighter when he accidentally started a fire in his bedroom that spread to two other houses before the FD arrived Monday afternoon. When the first units came on the scene around 2:20 pm Pacific they found both units of a duplex involved along with a third unit next door.
Crews began to attack the fire while also searching for anyone who may have been trapped in the homes. All the home occupants were able to make it out of their houses however, one of the families still had their dog trapped in the burning home.
A firefighter rescued the trapped dog from the structure and was bitten on his hand by the frightened animal. The dog was able to bite through the firefighter's leather glove, drawing blood. The firefighter was treated on the scene by an ambulance crew and received a precautionary Tetanus shot at an area hospital.
Nine adults and two children were displaced from the three homes and were provided overnight shelter by the Red Cross. The only injury reported was the above-mentioned dog bite.
The Modesto News was on the scene as the hose lines were being pulled and has posted this video report that includes good coverage of the fireground activities and a press statement by the Modesto FD battalion chief on the scene:
A 75-YR.-OLD FORMER FIREFIGHTER in Battle Creek, Michigan, died in his home Sunday morning when a fire swept through his house.
Battle Creek Enquirer
John Tenney was found in his wheelchair in the living room of the house by a police public safety officer who arrived right after the call came in. Unfortunately it was too late to save Tenney who was already dead. A neighbor reported seeing smoke coming from the house around 7:25 am and called in the alarm. Tenney had been temporarily disabled following knee replacement surgery.
WOOD-TV Ch. 8 filed this video report:
The fire is believed to have started in the basement and is not considered to be suspicious. The house is a total loss with the interior completely gutted and some floors collapsed.
The Battle Creek Enquirer has the full story including a description of the rescue attempt by his friend HERE.
John Tenney pictured in 2010
Mr. Tenney was locally known as a long-time midget race car driver who raced for 27 years and was inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.
It is still a working incident and no information as to cause, victims, etc., is available. The fire is not yet marked under control at the time of this posting.
The FD successfully contained the blaze to the two houses that were burning. No injuries were reported. The 2-unit apartment building on the corner had been recently vacated of all tenants and the house next door had just one resident and he got out ok.
CBS News filed this video report later in the morning: