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News stories tagged with "fire"

Alcoa fire investigation continues

Smelting operations at both the Alcoa East and West plants are continuing as usual Monday, and an investigation into the cause of a fire in the casthouse of the West plant last week is underway.

A preliminary survey of the casthouse Friday found areas that are structurally safe. That allowed state fire investigators to get to work in the building.

Alcoa spokeswoman Laurie Marr said it's too soon to determine the extent of the damages, or the long-term impact on the plant's operations.  Go to full article
Massena Vol. Fire Dept. tanker en route to fire at the Massena West Alcoa plant. Photo: Still from Youtube video by John Michaud III
Massena Vol. Fire Dept. tanker en route to fire at the Massena West Alcoa plant. Photo: Still from Youtube video by John Michaud III

Firefighters still extinguishing "hotspots" in Massena Alcoa West fire

UPDATE: Alcoa now says a preliminary survey of the casthouse Friday "determined areas that are structurally safe. This allowed state fire investigators to begin their investigation. It is too soon to determine the extent of damage to equipment and the long-term impact on processes. It is unknown how long the investigation process will take."

Firefighters were still working Friday afternoon to extinguish small flare-ups called "hot spots." at the Alcoa West plant near Massena. The fire began Thursday afternoon.  Go to full article
Massena Vol. Fire Dept. tanker en route to fire at the Massena West Alcoa plant. Photo: Still from Youtube video by John Michaud III
Massena Vol. Fire Dept. tanker en route to fire at the Massena West Alcoa plant. Photo: Still from Youtube video by John Michaud III

Alcoa to assess fire damage at West plant, near Massena

Officials with Alcoa say flare ups from a large fire at their West Plant casthouse building, near Massena, were out by 4:30 this morning. Alcoa spokesperson Laurie Marr says firefighters from multiple fire departments were on the scene through the night.

She says no one was hurt in the fire. Thick black smoke drifted over Massena. Marr says they don't think the smoke contained hazardous materials.  Go to full article
The fire at SUNY Canton, Friday, February 10. Photo: Thomas Quant, Jr.
The fire at SUNY Canton, Friday, February 10. Photo: Thomas Quant, Jr.

Arson ruled out in SUNY Canton fire

Investigators have determined that a fire that broke out last Friday at SUNY Canton wasn't caused by "an intentional or criminal act."

Students were evacuated, and the campus is shut down this week as local fire and police departments look into what started the fire. In a press release, the Canton Fire Department said Tuesday that the fire had started in a chemistry prep and storage room.

College spokesman Randy Sieminski says they're waiting for test results to make sure it's safe to reopen academic buildings and residence halls. He says the school is still hopeful that classes will resume on Monday. He told Julie Grant everyone's glad arson has been ruled out as a cause.  Go to full article
Staff and students evacuated from two buildings at SUNY Canton watch the fire which originated in a chemistry lab. Photo: Thomas Quant, Jr.
Staff and students evacuated from two buildings at SUNY Canton watch the fire which originated in a chemistry lab. Photo: Thomas Quant, Jr.

Fire at SUNY Canton

Crews from ten fire departments were at SUNY Canton today, after a reported explosion and fire. A spokesman for the school says it happened in a chemistry lab, on the north end of the Cook Science Center.

No injuries had been reported.

NCPR was on the scene at around 12:30 this afternoon, and ran into John Stafford of Canton Fire and Rescue...

"Cooke, there's a fire in Cook Hall. There's toxic fumes. So they need to stay out of there... we've got fire departments from all over, rescue squads, everything going here."

Stafford was wearing a yellow mask over his head and mouth to protect him from the chemical smoke. The campus center was closed, and officials were stationed along campus roadways, preventing people getting too close.

Surrounding buildings were evacuated. Student Jeremy Coleman was walking around campus looking a little dazed. A few minutes earlier, he'd been asleep in his dorm...

"They came banging on the door, saying everyone has to leave, the building is being evacuated."

Fire officials said all firefighters will have to go through a decontamination process.
It is not known whether anyone was in the lab when the fire began. Arson investigators are reportedly looking into the matter.  Go to full article
Port Henry's historic downtown block was threatened by an alleged arsonist. Photo: Brian Mann
Port Henry's historic downtown block was threatened by an alleged arsonist. Photo: Brian Mann

Port Henry arson could have been major disaster

Officials in Essex County say an arson attack over the weekend could have destroyed much of the downtown business district in Port Henry. They also say that the man accused of setting at least four fires, 43-year-old Joseph King, attacked firefighters while they were battling the dangerous blaze. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article
Police officers cannot talk to highway road crews right now. These challenges are something we face on a day-to-day basis.

Jefferson County plans emergency communications system upgrades

Federal workers reportedly complained about the inability to communicate during Irene, and following the recent earthquake, when cell phone networks went down. According to the Washington Post, many felt they were left in the dark, and agency leaders couldn't disseminate key information.

The Federal Communications Commission and wireless carriers report that 65-hundred cell sites were down along the East Coast during Hurricane Irene. Forty-four percent of Vermont's cell sites were down. The Post reports that confusion and a lack of coordination has federal employees worried that the government is still woefully unprepared for emergency situations.

Here in the North Country, Jefferson County is planning big improvements to its emergency communications system. The legislature just named a committee to research options and report back to lawmakers on the issue. Joanna Richards has more.  Go to full article
Keegan Muldowney (left) waits for his turn on a vehicle fire drill held last summer in Keeseville (Photo courtesy of Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department)
Keegan Muldowney (left) waits for his turn on a vehicle fire drill held last summer in Keeseville (Photo courtesy of Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department)

Volunteer fire squads battle blazes and a shortage of recruits

Across the North Country, volunteer fire squads are struggling to find new recruits.

Departments face a lot of challenges. Many small towns have fewer and fewer young people.

Training demands have grown over the years.

As Chris Morris reports, the region's fire chiefs are organizing to try to rebuild the tradition of service.  Go to full article
We don't want to do anything that's going to affect the current level of service we provide

Saranac Lake emergency crews worry about staff cuts

Officials with the Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department say their response times to emergencies could be hampered if the village of Saranac Lake cuts two firetruck and ambulance driver positions and eliminates the village's emergency dispatch center. Village officials say they're looking at all options for dealing with a pair of fire driver vacancies, and haven't made any decisions. Chris Knight reports.  Go to full article

House fire in Washington County leaves six children dead

A house fire in Fort Edward over the weekend left six young children dead from smoke inhalation.

Washington County officials are investigating the Saturday morning blaze but say they don't suspect foul play. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article

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