Fires and explosions make headlines in the United States on a daily basis. Set a Google alert for the term “house fire” or “gas pipeline explosion,” and your inbox will be inundated with updates.
Here are a couple of recent headlines from around the country:
Harper Woods home explosion injures 3
From News Services, Sept. 21: Michigan State Police are investigating a Harper Woods home explosion that injured three people and left a debris field in a densely populated neighborhood of suburban Detroit.
DTE Energy confirmed the home – located on the 20800 block of Lennon, near the Interstate 94 Service Drive just south of Vernier in Harper Woods – had a “higher natural gas spike” after midnight following minimal gas usage.
The injured include a 66-year-old man and 33-year-old woman who were entering the home for an appraisal. A 36-year-old man who lived across from the home also was injured by the blast. He was treated for his injuries and released from the hospital.
The 33-year-old woman was listed in critical condition after previously being listed in stable condition, according to the Harper Woods Department of Public Safety. The 66-year-old man also is in critical condition.
“The house, as you can see behind me, has completely been knocked down,” said Jim Burke, director of the Harper Woods Public Safety Department. “We believe it’s a gas explosion at this time.”
Burke said investigators believe the explosion was set off when one of the injured people opened an exterior door.
“We believe one person was opening the door and it caused a spark,” Burke said. “Our thinking right now is the house was full of gas, he opened the door and caused the spark. That gentleman on the porch was knocked off the porch onto the lawn.
“His partner was walking up behind him. (She) was also knocked down on the ground. When our officers arrived, there were two victims on the grass on the front lawn.”
DTE Energy released a statement regarding their investigation into the home explosion, saying there were no leak reports from the neighborhood before the explosion. After the incident, DTE investigators surveyed the area and found that there were no leaks.
One dead, 1 injured in Camillus apartment fire
From Spectrum News, Sept. 24: An investigation is underway into a deadly fire in Camillus, NY, a suburb of Syracuse.
Officials say the victim, identified as 42-year-old Judy Lyn McCue, was trapped in an upstairs room at the Aaron Manor Apartments on Milton Avenue around 4 a.m.
By the time firefighters arrived, the flames were too intense to enter the building. Fire officials said there were other people in the apartment at the time.
One other person, identified as 41-year-old Wendy Fitzgerald, was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation but is expected to be OK. Her 14-year-old son was not injured.
“My alarm rang to get up to go to the gym and I heard some screaming, so I looked outside the bedroom window. That’s when I saw the woman screaming and I realized the flames,” said William Pringle, a neighbor. “I yelled to my wife to call 911, and I immediately ran outside and started banging on the doors to get everybody out.”
The Red Cross was brought in to help the people who live at the apartment complex. It’s unclear how many people have been left without a home.
A criminal investigation is underway because of McCue’s death.
Benefit Saturday for Massachusetts victims
From the Lowell Sun, Sept. 21: Scola’s Restaurant in Dracut will host a Benefit Comedy Night on Saturday to raise money for victims of the Sept. 13 Massachusetts gas explosions in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover. The benefit is being planned by Dracut comedian and promoter Johnny Joyce, who will emcee the show.
The lineup features local stand-up veteran Bill Campbell, who has opened for Steven Wright and Bill Maher, among others. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30, which includes dinner.
For more information, call the restaurant at (978) 970-3838.