fire

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2-Month-Old Christmas Tree Blamed for Mansion Fire

Home engulfed in minutes when fire hit dried-out tree

(Newser) - The investigation into the huge blaze that killed a Maryland couple and their four grandchildren earlier this month has pinned the blame on a major fire hazard right in the middle of the mansion's "Great Room": A 2-month-old, 15-foot Christmas tree. Fire officials say an electrical failure ignited... More »

2 Bodies Found in Mansion's Charred Ruins

4 still missing in burned-down Maryland castle

(Newser) - Investigators found the bodies of two unidentified people yesterday in the charred remains of an Annapolis-area mansion that burned to the ground earlier this week, a fire official says. Cadaver dogs and searchers found the bodies, and four people remain unaccounted for, the county fire department spokesman says. "I... More »

How Did a $6M 'Castle' Just Burn to the Ground?

Annapolis investigators still have more questions than answers

(Newser) - What started the Monday blaze that consumed a 16,000-square-foot Annapolis mansion that locals called "The Castle"? Why were there apparently no smoke alarms or sprinklers in such a well-appointed home? And, perhaps most distressingly, where are owners Donald and Sandra Pyle and their four grandkids, feared dead... More »

Couple, 4 Grandkids Feared Dead in Mansion Fire

Tech exec Don Pyle, wife lived in 16K-square-foot Maryland home

(Newser) - Technology exec Don Pyle, his wife, and four grandchildren are feared dead in a huge blaze that destroyed a mansion in Annapolis. Some 85 firefighters spent hours early Monday morning battling the fire at the 16,000-square-foot castle-like home, using tanker trucks and a fire boat because there were no... More »

Kids Left Alone Die in House Fire

Mom went out to get her hair done, authorities say

(Newser) - Authorities say Ciarria Johnson went out to get her hair done Monday night, leaving her two young children home alone, and returned to the Louisiana house only after she got a call telling her it was on fire. But it was too late: Ta'shae Thompson Johnson, 4, and Clifton... More »

Christmas Day Fire Caused by ... Snow Globe

'Reindeer food,' fake snow also involved

(Newser) - A fire broke out at a store in England on Christmas Day, and the cause is about as Christmas-y as it gets. As a Dorset fire service spokesperson explains, "The cause of the fire was believed to be sun refracting through a snow globe in the shop window which... More »

Grandma, 3 Visiting Grandkids Die in Fire

Holiday blaze 'just tragic,' sheriff says

(Newser) - The bodies of a grandmother and the three grandchildren who were visiting her for Christmas were pulled today from the burned-out remains of her Ohio home. "To lose three children and a grandparent, it's devastating to the family," Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth tells the AP , calling... More »

Cave Find Suggests When Humans Figured Out Fire

Researchers in Israel say it happened about 350K years ago

(Newser) - As early human milestones go, it's as big as they get: the "invention" of fire. Or more precisely, the mastering of fire. Now archaeologists studying an ancient cave in Israel say they've figured out when humans managed the feat: about 350,000 years ago, reports Science . Researchers... More »

Massive LA Fire Treated as Arson

Building under construction was controversial for pedestrian bridge

(Newser) - A huge blaze that destroyed an apartment tower under construction in downtown Los Angeles overnight is being investigated as possible arson, the LA Times reports. Such big fires are always treated as criminal acts, a fire captain says, but "it's very rare for the entire building to be... More »

Maine Hit by Deadliest Fire in 30 Years

5 killed in blaze

(Newser) - Fire swept through a two-apartment building near the University of Southern Maine's commuter campus in Portland this morning, killing five people and critically injuring one, authorities say. The fire, which gutted the two-story structure, was reported at 7:17 am following a Halloween party the night before. "We... More »

Plane Fighting Yosemite Fire Crashes, Killing Pilot

Officials don't know yet what caused the air tanker to go down

(Newser) - An air tanker fighting a wildfire at Yosemite National Park mysteriously crashed yesterday, killing the pilot, the Los Angeles Times reports. A spokesman for the state's Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says it's believed the pilot was alone in the plane and that he worked for DynCorp... More »

Fire Breaks Out at Flight 93 Memorial Complex

3 buildings burned, but memorial itself is OK

(Newser) - A fire that broke out this afternoon at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania has seriously damaged three administrative buildings at the site, but not the memorial itself, reports AP . The cause isn't known, and no injuries have been reported. At least seven local fire departments were at... More »

2 Weeks Until Chicago Control Center Reopens: FAA

Officials hope everything's up and running by Oct. 13 after sabotage

(Newser) - The Federal Aviation Administration says it will take about two weeks to fully reopen a Chicago-area control center, where an act of sabotage brought the city's two international airports to a halt last week. The FAA said yesterday it hopes to return the facility to full service by Oct.... More »

Michael Brown Memorial Burns, Stirs New Unrest in Ferguson

Vandalism, arrests, possible arson mar uneasy quiet in Mo. town

(Newser) - Tensions in Ferguson may have been muted for the past few weeks, but they haven't dissipated. One of two memorials for Michael Brown near the spot where he was killed went up in flames yesterday—and some residents think the fire was intentionally set, especially given reports of a... More »

Cops: Teen Reads of 'Slender Man,' Tries to Kill Family

Lily Hartwell, 14, charged with attempted murder of mom, brother

(Newser) - A 14-year-old Florida girl admitted to setting her family's house on fire early yesterday after a "Slender Man" website got her riled up, police say. Lily Hartwell allegedly told police she was reading websites about the mythical online character that "made her upset about past bullying and... More »

House Fire Was Dog's Fault: Police

No one else was home; pet gets saved

(Newser) - Too bad they don't teach fire safety in obedience school. A fire in a New Jersey home this weekend appears to have started when a dog turned on the stove, police say, per the Asbury Park Press . But the canine may not be entirely to blame: It seems someone... More »

Woman Sets Husband on Fire ... to Get His Attention

Toddi Bork mad that he sprayed poison on weeds

(Newser) - An Oregon woman accused of setting her husband on fire because of an argument over weed killer is in jail on an attempted murder charge. KPTV reports an officer on patrol Friday evening saw the couple outside their Mount Angel home and initially thought there had been an accident with... More »

Teen Sets Himself on Fire for Online 'Challenge'

Fire challenge involves pouring alcohol on one's chest and lighting it

(Newser) - If pouring rubbing alcohol on your chest and lighting it on fire sounds like a bad idea, you're on the right track. A 15-year-old boy in Kentucky had to learn the hard way, however, after he attempted a stunt called the "fire challenge" that's been popping up... More »

4 Kids Dead in Philadelphia Rowhome Fire

Overnight blaze destroyed 8 rowhomes

(Newser) - A fast-moving rowhouse fire in southwest Philadelphia early today left four children dead and destroyed eight rowhomes, officials said. The unidentified victims were twin 4-year-old girls, a 4-year-old boy, and a month-old boy, reports Philly.com . All were found in the same rowhome where the fire broke out about 2:... More »

Man Bends Car Door in Half to Save Driver

Robert Renning saw car on fire behind him, went into action

(Newser) - A Minnesota man demonstrated superhuman strength at exactly the right time Sunday. Air National Guardsman Robert Renning, 52, was driving along the interstate around New Brighton when he saw flames underneath an SUV about six car-lengths behind him, reports Twin Cities Pioneer Press . He slowed to get driver Michael Johannes'... More »

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