Rescue in Bristol, CT

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BRISTOL, CT (WFSB) – Bristol firefighters rescued a man from a three family home after a Christmas Eve fire on Wednesday.

Firefighters said the fire started on the second floor of the house on Gridley Street around 5 p.m.  A man on the second floor was sleeping, and firefighters rescued him through a window.

Fire officials said it’s unclear if those who live there can return home before Christmas morning.

“There is no words. I’m pretty sure tears enough can explain having a home one day and then of all days, especially Christmas Eve, not having anything” witness Lauren Raymond said.

Firefighters also rescued a dog from the home. No one was injured.

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Rescues in Birmingham, Al

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BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Fire swept through a Birmingham apartment complex early Christmas morning, injuring six people, two of them critically.

Four of the injured are children believed to be under the age of 5. Two of those children were thrown from an upstairs burning apartment to other residents waiting below to catch them in what witnesses described as a harrowing scene.

“The mama was screaming, ‘My kids are in there,”’ said resident Alex Mareno. “We tried to get in but it was impossible. The firefighter came and went in there. He saved the boy’s life.”

Fire officials this morning said the blaze was started by unattended food left on the stove. The fire erupted just before 2 a.m. at Valley Brook Apartments on Gallant Drive in the Center Point area. More than 50 firefighters from Birmingham Fire and Rescue and Center Point Fire District responded to the three-alarm blaze.

BFRS Assistant Chief Matt Russell said heavy fire and smoke were showing from Building 2964 when the first firefighters arrived on the scene. It appears the fire started in an upstairs unit, and quickly spread to the apartment below.

In all, four units were destroyed and, as of 3:30 a.m., firefighters were trying to keep the flames from spreading to nearby buildings. The fire kept flaring up, Russell said, because of the tar and gravel roof, combined with dry wood and low humidity.

Authorities and witnesses said there were two children and a mother in the upstairs apartment, and two children and a mother in the unit below. Valley Brook resident Lakeysha Robinson said someone banged on her nearby building to tell her there was a fire.

“I saw the fire when I came out,” Robinson said. A woman was screaming that her children were still in the apartment.

Robinson went to the ground-level apartment that was on fire and tried to get inside to rescue the children. She said she wrapped her jacket around her arm and broke a window to gain entry, but was stopped by the intensity of the flames and heat. “There was so much fire,” she said. “I almost got in, but the smoke was hitting me so bad.”

It was then that a woman in the second-story apartment yelled to Robinson to catch her child. “It was an infant girl, like a newborn,” Robinson said. “That baby hit my arms hard. She threw down two kids.”

Other residents were also helping to catch the children from the second-story apartment. The mother, they said, jumped to the ground after tossing her kids to safety. “I think I was in shock,” Robinson said. “I couldn’t talk.”

A young boy, residents said, remained trapped in the first-floor apartment until firefighters arrived. “In 10 more minutes, the boy would have died,” Mareno said.
One of the children – believed to be the boy that was trapped the longest – was unresponsive when he left the scene. Police were escorting the ambulances to the hospital.

Police later said the boy was burned and had to be intubated , but is expected to survive.

Russell said he didn’t know the ages and conditions of any of the victims, except that two were listed as critical. One of those critical is a 3-year-old boy.

Red Cross was called to the scene to assist those who lost their homes.

“Obviously no time is a great time for a fire like this,” Russell said. “But Christmas Eve is particularly devastating. It’s a tragedy and a disaster for those involved.”

Grab in Fayetteville, NC

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – Fayetteville firefighters rescued a man from an apartment fire in the Seabrook Community early Wednesday morning, fire officials said.

The fire department was called to an apartment fire around 1:20 a.m. at 712 Wilma St. in the Seabrook Community off of Murchison Road.

Fire officials believe the fire originated in the main front apartment of the building. A man in an adjoining apartment that was filling up with smoke had to be rescued. No injuries were reported.

Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the main apartment and two additional units.

Two families were being assisted by the American Red Cross.

Fire officials did not say what sparked the fire. They also did not have an estimate on cost of damage.

Rescue in Byron, NY

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A fast-moving fire early Friday killed a retired farmer and critically injured his wife in their ranch home in the Genesee County community of Byron.

Warren Leaton, 90, a lifelong Byron resident who was a dairy and cash-crop farmer, was discovered dead on the kitchen floor of the smoke-filled home at 6920 Caswell Road shortly after Byron firefighters arrived just after 2 a.m., Fire Chief Charles Durkee said.

Noreen Leaton, 84, a former Byron town clerk, was alert and talking when firefighters rescued her from a breezeway in the home, Durkee said. She remains in critical condition in the intensive-care unit of United Memorial Medical Center, Batavia.

Officials said frozen rain, a lack of nearby water sources and a fallen power line hampered firefighting efforts. Firefighters from several area companies battled the blaze, which was brought under control in about an hour. Genesee County authorities were alerted to the blaze shortly after 2 a.m.

Durkee said the cause of the fire, which originated in the living room, remains under investigation but does not appear to be suspicious.

The house was declared a total loss.

The investigation is being conducted by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, state Office of Fire Prevention Services and Genesee County’s Emergency Management Office

Rescues in Detroit

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Detroit firefighters had a busy, and heroic, Monday, rescuing two people and a dog from blazes in the city.

Crews rushed to the 16000 block of Marlowe on the city’s east side about 3:30 p.m. to battle a blaze.

Inside, they found two people, who were transported to Detroit Receiving Hospital for treatment of burns, said Edsel Jenkins, the city’s executive fire commissioner. No one else was at the home when the blaze started, he said.

Another fire was reported about 4:06 p.m. in the lower level of a home in the 2200 block of Field on the city’s east side, according to the Detroit Fire Department.

A trial firefighter pulled a dog inside to safety, Jenkins said. The owner tearfully held onto the black dog, saying he’d lost most of his belongings in the fire.

“They’re some of the hardest-working firefighters on the planet,” Jenkins said. “They respond to each alarm with 1,000 percent in terms of effort to protect lives and extinguish fires.”

Rescues in Milwaukee

Firefighters rescued two unconscious young children from a house choked by smoke and flames and an adult was forced to leap from the second story shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday.

In all, six people were injured in the fire in the 1600 block of S. 22nd St.

The injured included the two rescued children and the adult, two other children who escaped on their own and a firefighter. All were taken to area hospitals. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

“They were rescued from one of the absolute worst areas they could have been in,” Deputy Chief Aaron Lipski said, referring to the two unconscious children. “They both suffered severe smoke inhalation.”

Lipski said firefighters had to train a hose on the flames while their colleagues rushed inside to save the two children. Both children were described as being in critical condition at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

“I can’t describe how blistering hot that was,” Lipski said.

Names of the injured has not been released.

The fire, which was on the home’s first floor, caused an estimated $250,000 in damage

Rescue in Fort Worth, TX

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A Fort Worth firefighter using a thermal imaging camera found a man inside a burning mobile home Sunday.

Engine 29 arrived in the 1800 block of Edgecliff Road at 4:06 p.m. and reported heavy smoke coming from the structure.

Fort Worth Firefighter Kurt Howard was using the thermal imaging camera to search the home when he located an unconscious male, according to Battalion Chief Richard Harrison.

Crews from Engine 17 and Quint 17 rescued the unconscious and unresponsive man from the structure and passed him to Engine 10’s crews, who began resuscitation efforts.

Harrison said the crew revived the man at the scene. He was breathing and regained consciousness before MedStar transported him to JPS Hospital.

Rescue in Halifax

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Careless smoking has been blamed for an apartment fire that seriously injured a woman in Clayton Park on Thursday morning.

Halifax Fire responded to a second-floor fire at 10 Caxton Close at about 9:30 a.m.

“Once our crews arrived on scene, (they) confirmed smoke and flames visible,” Deputy Chief Roy Hollett of Halifax Fire said in an interview.

“Unfortunately, they found a female, best guess (in her) 40s or 50s, she suffered significant burns over her body. They rescued her, pulled her out, turned her over to EHS and she’s been transported to hospital in serious condition.”

The fire was out by 10:15 a.m. and fire crews searched the rest of the building but did not find anyone else.

In a tweet issued at 1:40 p.m., the fire service blamed the fire on “careless use of smoking materials.”

Building superintendent Ron Deveau said the fire was detected early on and damage was minimized as a result.

“Thank God that we caught it right away,” he said.

Deveau said the woman appeared to suffer burns to her legs, but he did not know what caused the fire.

The victim and her common-law husband lived in the building for a “couple of years,” he said.

A neighbour who lives next to the burned apartment said she had never seen the victim before the fire.

She said the woman’s skin was peeling off her legs because of the injuries, but the victim appeared calm. The neighbour did not hear anything abnormal before the fire.

She did see a man walking out behind the victim as firefighters were rescuing her.

Richard Crocker, who lives in a nearby building, said he saw firefighters used a ladder to look into some third-storey windows but did not appear to enter the building that way.

Grab in Charleston, WV

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“The patient was on the floor beside of her bed, so just picked her up and carried her out,” that’s how Charleston Firefighter Wes Runyan described what he saw when he went into a burning house last night.

Runyan is being called a hero after doing what most of us find to be the most honorable part of their job– rushing into a burning building while everyone else is trying to get out.

“When I was bringing her out, I couldn’t even see anymore, it was that black,” Runyan added.

But if he hadn’t gone in, the blaze would have been fatal. The woman inside was bed-ridden, and had no chance to get out on her own. Runyan said if he had gotten to her just two minutes later, it would have been too late.

“They was always good people. They never bothered anyone. They stayed a lot to themselves,” said Marshall Hairston, who lives a few houses down from the home that was on fire.

Hairston lives just a few houses down from the home, and came outside when he heard the sirens.

“By the time I got there, they had already had her out and they were bringing her down the street on the cart,” Hairston added.

But thanks to quick work by Runyan and his fellow firefighters, everyone is expected to be ok.

“I don’t think I’m a hero at all. Every guy that was there last night would have done the exact same thing, I just happened to be the first one off the truck,” added Runyan.

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — One woman is lucky to be alive following a fire at her home in Charleston Thursday evening.

The fire started about 6:30 p.m. in the 1500 block of Second Avenue. One person was able to get out of the house on their own. When firefighters got to the home, that woman told them there was still one other person trapped inside the home. That is when firefighter Wes Runyan went into the home, picked up the woman and put her on his back, and carried her out of the house.

“If we were there a minute or two later, she wouldn’t have made it. There’s no way,” Runyan said. “When I was bringing her out, I couldn’t even see anymore. It was that black.”

There was extensive damage down to the house, but Runyan said it’s not a total loss. Everyone that was in the home is expected to be OK.