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Fires and explosions make headlines around the country daily. Set a Google alert for the term “apartment fire” or “gas-line explosion,” and you will be inundated with updates.
Here is a sampling of recent news items:
2 injured in explosion at Utah gas collection facility
From KSL.com, Salt Lake City, July 28: An explosion at a Utah gas collection facility in Grand County sent two workers to the hospital, police say.
“We had a report of two individuals that were hurt, we had three helicopters respond to the location,” Grand County Sheriff’s Deputy Jamison Wiggins said.
The condition of the injured is unknown, Wiggins said. One was transported by a medical helicopter to a hospital in Grand Junction, CO. The other was flown to University Hospital in Salt Lake City.
“It’s an ongoing investigation at the plant right now as to what caused the explosion,” Wiggins said. “But it is a collection facility.”
Police have not released the name of the facility.
“It’s not a pumping station,” Wiggins said. “Usually the gas lines go to the station and then they collect gas.”
Wiggins said workers turned off the gas line shortly after the explosion at about 10:15 a.m. “There’s no visible flame anymore because they shut off the emergency valve,” he said.
Lower Valley Emergency Services, Grand County Emergency Services, Moab Fire Department and Thompson Fire Department all responded to the scene of the explosion.
Mother, 5 children die in Michigan motel fire
From Associated Press, July 28: A fire that swept through a motel in Sodus Township, Michigan, killed five children and their mother, authorities said.
The Cosmo Extended Stay Motel was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived shortly after receiving a 911 call at 1:45 a.m., the Berrien County sheriff’s office said.
Kiarre Curtis, 26, and five children ranging in age from 2 to 10 years old likely succumbed to smoke inhalation, Chief Deputy Robert Boyce said. The woman’s husband and their 1-year-old child survived. All eight were in the same room.
“It’s tragic. It tears at your heart,” Boyce said. “Any time you have children, it’s worse. When it’s multiple children, it’s even worse.”
The motel is off Interstate 94 in the southwestern corner of Michigan, roughly 100 miles from Chicago. Authorities said 27 rooms were occupied and 90 percent of the property was damaged by smoke, fire or water.
Boyce described the two-story motel as a place for people with low incomes to “get back on their feet.”
Eight people were treated for smoke inhalation and released from a hospital. The cause of the fire was not immediately known.
Curtis’ husband, Samuel Curtis, was the father of some of the children who died, Boyce said.
“His whole world’s been turned upside down,” the chief deputy said.
A motel resident, Sarah Sanders, said she fled after a friend shouted at her to get out. “By the time we get outside, the end of the building exploded,” Sanders told the South Bend Tribune. “The glass shattered out and there was big whoof of flame.”
Another resident, Robert Payne, said the fire started just a few doors from his room. He said he liked the children and sometimes gave them money for candy. “It breaks my heart that I ain’t going to see them no more,”
Payne said. “That’s a shame.”