Multiple Rescues in St. Louis


ST. LOUIS — A man was killed during a Monday morning fire at an apartment building in the Central West End.

According to the St. Louis Fire Department, the fire occurred at a three-story apartment building in the 4900 block of McPherson just after 8 a.m.

According to fire officials, 20 people were rescued from the building. Officials said six people were transported urgently to be treated for smoke inhalation.

The American Red Cross was on the scene providing emergency food, shelter and clothing for the apartment complex’s residents.

Fire officials said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Rescues in Brooklyn, NYC


Through heavy smoke and flames, firefighters could see a woman and her twin daughters calling for help from the windows on the second floor of their Brooklyn home late on Friday night.

Already, the fire had engulfed the stairwell, blocking their escape.

“The only way out was through the window,” said Chief John Hodgens, the commander of the Fire Department’s Eighth Division, who coordinated the rescue operation. “The people were definitely trapped.”

The alarm went out at 11 p.m.: Fire at 1206 60th Street, a two-story brick building in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, where Alison D’Angelo, 55, lived with her 12-year-old daughters, Abigail and Emily.

Firefighters from Engine Company 247, stationed a block and a half away, arrived two minutes later, followed by Ladder Company 148, and quickly devised a plan of attack, Chief Hodgens said.

Firefighter Joseph Addeo rushed in through the front door and up the interior stairs, his path cleared by a steady spray of water. Another firefighter, James Knauer, used a portable ladder to climb into a second-floor window, while Firefighter Shawn Miro raced up the ladder attached to his truck into another window.

By this time, the smoke had overcome Ms. D’Angelo and her daughters. They were found unconscious, Ms. D’Angelo in one bedroom, her daughters in another. The firefighters carried them out to waiting ambulances.

With its speed and intensity, the blaze recalled another Brooklyn house fire in March that killed seven siblings and seriously injured their mother and 15-year-old sister.

In this case, firefighters were quickly able to reach Ms. D’Angelo and her daughters. They were all listed in serious but stable condition: Ms. D’Angelo and Emily at Staten Island University Hospital, and Abigail at Jacobi Medical Center, fire officials said. The girls’ father, who works nights, was not home, officials said.

Had firefighters taken any longer, Chief Hodgens said, the family might not have made it.

The fire originated in the stairwell, which Chief Hodgens said was unusual. Fire officials later said that faulty electrical wiring was to blame and that no criminality was suspected.

Officials had said there were smoke detectors in the home but later determined the devices were not functioning during the fire.

“They were unfortunately caught right in it with nowhere to go,” he said.

Ladder Rescues in Illinois


Two men who were trapped on the second floor of a burning townhome unit Saturday night — one of whom is confined to a wheelchair — were rescued by firefighters from the St. Charles Fire Department, Fire Chief Joe Schelstreet said Sunday.

Firefighters responded at 11:47 p.m. to the 1700 block of Cumberland Green Drive in St. Charles, where they found “heavy fire conditions” and an older man confined to a wheelchair unable to get out of a bedroom, while his son was “hanging over the balcony” struggling for help, Schelstreet said.

“Heavy smoke was pushing over him from the sliding glass doors — the father was still in the building,” Schelstreet said.

Firefighters used a portable ladder to immediately rescue the men, he said.

“A fireman accessed the balcony and carried the father down the ladder,” Schelstreet said. They then assisted the son out of the unit, he said.

The father was taken to Delnor Hospital in Geneva, when he remained Sunday for observation, Schelstreet said.

“He was able to speak when he was placed in the ambulance,” Schelstreet said.

The son was evaluated by paramedics on the scene and declined to be taken to the hospital.

“The firemen acted very quickly,” Schelstreet said. “The guys are well-trained and know their business. They did everything according to protocol.”

He said the blaze was discovered by a resident of the residential complex who then called 911.

Schelstreet said the fire started on the second floor and was contained to the bedroom level. Some of the building’s other residents already had evacuated, he said, and firemen put the fire out in about 30 minutes. There were no other injuries, and the cause remained under investigation.

A neighbor two doors down in the same building was startled Sunday morning to see a blue tarp draped across the exterior of her neighbor’s unit.

“I just hope everybody is OK. If someone was hanging over the balcony, the fire had to be pretty intense,” the neighbor said.

The townhome is part of the Cumberland Green Cooperative, an affordable housing development and nonprofit owned by the residents, according to its website.

The complex, north of Division Street and west of Kirk Road on the east side of St. Charles, includes about 25 buildings spanning two blocks, with eight units per building. The fire broke out in one of the buildings at the southern end.

Another neighbor who lives in an adjacent building said he was asleep and didn’t hear the commotion of the rescue.

“I don’t know too many of my neighbors. I am glad firemen got them out OK,” the man said.

The townhome unit was destroyed, with damage estimated at $100,000, according to a release from the St. Charles Fire Department.

Schelstreet said the management staff from the complex was working with tenants to make temporary housing arrangements.

St. Charles firefighters were assisted by fire departments from Geneva, Batavia, West Chicago and South Elgin.

Multiple Ladder Rescues in Ohio


COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio (Perry Schaible) — Crews were called to the scene of an apartment building fire at 2302 West Galbraith Road near Pippin Road. Eight people were trapped inside and had to be rescued Friday, May 29. It was difficult for them to get out because of smoke and flames in the stairwell. Six people had to be rescued out of the top floor down a fire ladder. The other two were able to get out the door. Neighbors said they saw a man running from the apartment complex dressed in black shortly before the fire began. Fire crews were not commenting on that at this time. Colerain Police have joined the investigation but they weren’t saying if they considered the fire it suspicious. A second alarm was called to the scene and the fire was knocked down quickly.

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Rescue in Ohio


“Please hurry!” a frantic Jessica Moore is heard early Monday in the background of a 911 call between her boyfriend, Joshua Coyle, and a Columbus fire dispatcher.

Moore and Coyle were huddled in a basement bedroom of the five-room ranch home at 829 Groveport Rd. in Canal Winchester.

“Don’t separate for nothing,” the dispatcher tells them. “That way we don’t have to search for you. We find one, we’ll find both of you.”

One team of firefighters battled through flames and smoke from the east side of the home while another team sawed its way through the home’s western wall and floor to reach the couple.

“We had a couple of fantastic rescues,” Madison Township Fire Chief Robert Bates said. “You start looking for alternatives.”

Coyle, 23, and Moore, whose age was unavailable, were in critical condition Monday afternoon at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, suffering from smoke inhalation, according to fire officials. The hospital would not release any information, even to verify that the couple was there.

The call about the fire came at 5:34 a.m., Bates said. Township crews just around the corner at the Gender Road station were able to respond quickly. Fire crews from Columbus and Bloom Township arrived to help.

Bates said the home’s owners, John J. Marcum, 44, and his wife, Linda Marcum, 47, were awakened by smoke detectors.

“This is a case where working smoke detectors and the fact they had their bedroom door closed helped save their lives,” Bates said. The closed door kept heavy smoke from overcoming them in their sleep, he said.

The Marcums were faced with acrid smoke from the ceiling down to chest level when they opened their bedroom door. But they couldn’t run to safety yet. They had to rescue their two elementary-school-age children sleeping in another bedroom.

Fortunately, the children’s bedroom door also was closed, Bates said. Gathering up the children, the Marcums escaped as a ceiling behind them collapsed in flames and hot cinders.

“They turned around to go back inside to rescue the other two but couldn’t,” Bates said. Fire and debris blocked the way.

A next-door neighbor, Brian Carney, had broken through a privacy fence to go around behind the house. He figured he might be able to get in through a back window or door.

“You couldn’t get within 20 feet of the house; it was just too hot,” Carney said. The siding on Carney’s home facing the fire was melted and sagging.

The fire had destroyed about half of the Marcum home’s interior and roared through the attic, exposing the attic at both ends and leaving the roof sagging.

As firefighters came closer to Coyle, who is Mrs. Marcum’s son, and Moore, his girlfriend, the dispatcher urged them to remain calm and assured them, “We’re already there. We’re coming to get you.”

He told them to remain calm. “Stay down on the floor with a cloth over your face. Don’t talk too much … you don’t need to be breathing in that smoke.”

Coyle sounded calm when he repeated the dispatcher’s advice to “Just relax,” but it was unclear, based on the recording, when he and Morris suffered their injuries.

At one point it sounded as if Morris was telling Coyle, “It’s OK.”

Next, she asked the dispatcher, “How much farther? How much longer?”

They were reassured when they heard firefighters breaking through the ceiling above. Firefighters lowered a ladder, climbed down and took Morris out. About the same time, firefighters came down the steps and got Coyle.

It had been about 20 minutes from the time the fire was reported until the couple emerged from the basement, Bates said. The fire destroyed about half of the Marcum home’s interior and roared through the attic, exposing the attic at both ends and leaving the roof sagging.Two Columbus firefighters were taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries, the chief said.

The fire appeared to have started in an attached garage that was being used for storage. Although the cause was unknown on Monday, Bates said the fire was not suspicious.