Alabama News

Monday, March 27, 2017

Victims identified in Blount County plane crash as investigation continues

Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were on the scene of a plane crash in Blount County this morning. The plane, a Cessna T210L, crashed Saturday afternoon in the Hayden area around 2:33 p.m. All four passengers were pronounced dead at the scene. The victims have been identified by Stuart Hirstein, Head of School at the University School of Jackson, as Jillian, 14; Jacob, 16; Joseph, 45; and Jennifer, 43. Jacob was a sophomore at USJ and Jillian was in the eighth grade.
Birmingham News

Birmingham: 4 more houses on fire in Ensley, the latest in a string of suspected arsons

Four more houses in Ensley appear to have been torched early this morning, the latest in a string of suspicious fires to plague the community since last year. Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service said they responded to the first blaze at 5:06 a.m. and the others started not long after. Firefighters from as far away as Huffman have responded to the scenes. The fires are in the 1200 block of Avenue H, the 1600 block of Avenue F, the 1200 block of Avenue L and the 1500 block of Avenue H.
Birmingham News

Sheffield Fire Department battles high turnover rate

In the past two years, Sheffield has lost 17 firefighters. Fire Chief Dewey King said the major cause of that high turnover is low wages. The city has 20 firefighters who staff two stations -- one on Second Street and another on West Montgomery Avenue. King, who is also the city's public safety director, said firefighters work a 24-hour shift, followed by 48 hours off. The chief said 51 percent of his firefighters live outside Sheffield, some as far away as Madison. He knows that once they find a better paying job closer to home, they will leave.

Grant Fire Chief resigns

Grant Mayor Walker explained the process for fire department donations during the Council meeting this week. The Grant Fire Department is mostly supported by the municipality. If anyone donates to Grant Fire Department, the money goes into the fire department account in the town budget. Through this account the town pays for the trucks, all equipment, training, insurance, vehicle maintenance, the building, utilities, turnout suits and other needs for the fire department, Mayor Walker said.
Guntersville Advertiser Gleam

Northport firefighters install free bed-shaking smoke alarms for hearing impaired

David Smith used sign language to thank Northport firefighters and others at his home to install a unique smoke alarm in his bedroom. Smith is one of seven people in Northport either deaf or with severe hearing problems getting a free bed shaking fire alarm from the American Red Cross. “This is the one obstacle that I have worried about with his living independently is that he would be aware of a fire alarm and be able to get out safely,” David's mother Charlotte Smith said.
WBRC-TV Fox 6 Birmingham

Friday, March 24, 2017

LODD: Demopolis firefighter dies after medical emergency

A firefighter died Thursday after being found unresponsive at home. During his shift, Demopolis Fire Department Lt. Christopher Foster, 54, responded to an emergency call for a motor vehicle crash with injuries, Firefighter Close Calls reported. After his shift ended, Lt. Foster returned home. He was found unresponsive and pronounced dead from an apparent cardiac arrest. Lt. Foster was a 23-year veteran. Funeral arrangements are pending. We will update you once more information becomes available.

Historic church burns near wildfire in Tuscaloosa County

Marie Miller's swing with a view is missing its main attraction. "I used to sit in the swing out here and it was facing the church. It's very sad. It's like a dark hole over there to me," Miller said. The wooden walls of Philadelphia Baptist Church on North Hagler Road in the Samantha Community were no match for a wildfire. Miller said the church was over 100 years old, but has not had a congregation for 50 years. "When I happened to look out and see it, the fire was right up close to the church.
WJSU-TV ABC 33/40 Anniston

Alabama sees 143 wildfires in a week; 3,700 acres burned

In the past week, there have been 143 wildfires in Alabama. They've burned more than 3,700 acres. It's fire season in Alabama, a time period that lasts from around January to the beginning of May. Experts say the recent fires are starting to creep up in size and intensity. "They're more dangerous than they normally are. Also in those 143, we've had 10 fires over 100 acres and anything over that is a pretty good size fire," explained Alabama's Interim State Forester, Gary Cole. "We've had them as big as 300 acres."
WSFA-TV NBC 12 Montgomery

Tuscaloosa: Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6022 Honors Firefighter of the Year

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6022 presented another of its Gold Medal Awards on March 22. Walter Turner with the VFW was on hand to give Sgt. Beau Gunter with Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue the Firefighter of the Year Award. EMT of the Year and Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award were given out earlier in the week Turner said they like to honor those who protect us each and every day. “Very humbling, any time that you receive any type of recognition, especially from those that you work with every day and those that supervise you,” said Turner.

Arson suspected in 3 overnight fires at abandoned Ensley houses

Arson is suspected in three overnight fires in Ensley, the latest in a string of suspicious blazes to hit the city since last year. The first fire erupted before 4 a.m., and the other two quickly followed. They happened at abandoned homes at Terrace Q and 49th Street, Court P and 52nd Street and 1628 52nd Street, said Birmingham Fire and Rescue Capt. Bryan Harrell. All of this morning's fires fit the same MO as previous arsons in the area.

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