Emergency crews responded to the scene of an explosion and fire that killed one man and injured more than 30 people, including firefighters, at a manufacturing plant in New York's Hudson Valley.
The explosion happened at around 10:15 a.m. Monday in the north section of Verla International -- a business that makes cosmetics, primarily nail polish. It's located at 463 Temple Hill Road in New Windsor in Orange County.
The Orange County Executive's Office reports that the Medical Examiner was requested at 7:40 p.m. for a deceased man at the Verla Costmetic plant. He had previously been reported missing.
In Onalaska, the volunteer fire department is dealing with an emergency of its own.
Brothers Chris and Craig Franklin say small town politics are putting everyone in jeopardy.
"Now I am standing here, watching everything fall apart," said Chris. "I'm worried for my safety, my family's safety, and the safety of all the citizens of Onalaska."
The reason he's worried is because a third of the firefighters who make up the volunteer department have resigned.
"To lose these people who are resigning, it is not going to work," said Craig.
It started when Fire Chief Andrew Martin lost his title during Thursday's Fire Commissioners' meeting.
"I wasn't given any heads up. I didn't even know I was the employee under review," said Martin.
KING-TV NBC 5
It takes years of study and a fortune in tuition to earn a college degree, unless you take the kind of shortcut former Tarpon Springs Fire Chief Rick Butcher did.
Instead of cracking the books, Butcher simply went online and bought his BS degree from Almeda University, one of the world’s most notorious diploma mills.
“It just seemed like an opportunity and I took it,” Butcher said. “And it wasn’t worth taking.”
“The school doesn’t exist. It’s smoke and mirrors,” said retired FBI agent Allen Ezell. “It’s never been real anywhere.”
Ezell should know. Before retiring from the FBI, Ezell spent 11 years busting diploma mills. He’s written a book on degree mills and even recently purchased his own degree from Almeda, as further proof of the school’s ongoing diploma scam.
“I paid about $1,000 plus a $50 fee,” Ezell said.
Hamilton homeowner Lester Parker and his nephew William “Billy” Tucker, took the stand Monday in their own defense in the arson and murder trial for the 2015 death of Hamilton firefighter Patrick Wolterman.
Parker, 68, and Tucker, 46, of Richmond, Ky., are charged with arson and murder in the fire at Parker’s Pater Avenue home that killed Wolterman on Dec. 28, 2015.
Both men denied any involvement in the deadly fire. Prosecutors say Parker was “under water” financially in the fall of 2015 and hatched a plan to set the house on fire for insurance money. Tucker agreed to light the fire in exchange for pain pills, according to prosecutors.
Ogle County Sheriff Brian VanVickle says the six people killed overnight in a house fire in rural Dixon included two parents, four children, a cat and a dog.
Sheriff VanVickle says at this time no names or ages are being released. The school district where the children attended has been notified.
Neighbors tell 23 News the area in unincorporated Lost Nation is a very close community where everyone knows each other.
Ogle County Coroner Louis Finch says autopsies will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday. Finch says the bodies were so badly burned that he will rely on dental records to identify the victims.
Speaking to the Associated Press, Captain Isaac Dimming of the Dixon Rural Fire Department says there was no way the firefighters could enter the home because it was fully engulfed. He says the bodies of the six people were not found until the fire was brought under control.
WIFR-TV CBS 23 Rockford
Fifty-foot flames flaring down Agua Caliente canyon in the earliest hours of Oct. 9 were about to devour the Mission Highlands neighborhood and race into the backyards of Boyes Hot Springs. That’s when Glen Ellen Cal Fire Capt. Sean Jerry studied the situation from a crest on High Road and said, “OK, this is what we’re going to do.”
What followed involved a bulldozer driving up asphalt roads and bursting into the canyon to dig a firebreak while Jerry and other firefighters set a back burn below it that kept the fire within a few feet of reaching 66 Mission Highlands homes and 15 minutes away from the thickly populated Springs area with 2,500 homes.
“It would have been there –– 100 percent,” he said. But they stopped it.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat