Charles Parish
Geer Services, Inc.
Geer Services, Inc.
San Marco Properties
Geer Services, Inc.
Claude Nolan
Geer Services, Inc.
Jul 052013

John White Photos/Flickr/Getty Images(SEATTLE) — An annual fireworks show in Seattle was the ruined by a fire at a boat storage facility on Lake Union Thursday.

According to ABC affiliate KOMO-TV, at least six boats were damaged in the fire. Witnesses said that the fire spread quickly.

“It started out as a small ember in a small boat,” one witness told KOMO-TV, “and they didn’t remove it quick enough and the whole thing caught fire.”

Firefighters responded to the report at about 10 p.m. on Thursday and the flames were extinguished in under one hour.

According to the Seattle Fire Department, up to 14 boats may have suffered as much as $1.5 million in damage in the fire.

The fire was apparently caused by a stray firework. There were no reported injuries in the fire. The fireworks show went ahead as scheduled after the fire was extinguished.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Jun 222013

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SOUTH FORK, Colo.) — A shift in the winds Friday night has fire officials sounding more optimistic about the fate of the tiny Colorado town of South Fork.

The tourist town in southwestern Colorado is threatened by the “West Fork Complex,” a combination of two giant wildfires which have already scorched 42,000 acres of land. The flames were headed directly towards the town, but a change in the weather turned the flames away.

South Fork is also lucky because the behavior of the fire has changed due to the type of forest it has encountered. The blaze initially exploded in size because it was burning in dead, dry, beetle-killed forests, but officials say it’s now burning living Ponderosa and Aspen forests where the fire doesn’t burn as hot.

The fire is currently 3 to 5 miles outside of South Fork, and firefighters are standing by in case the weather changes again.

The town’s 400 residents and hundreds of tourists have already been evacuated, and no homes have been destroyed.

“We’re still here,” South Fork Police Chief James Chavez told ABC News.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

May 282013

Photo Courtesy Royal Caribbean (FREEPORT, Bahamas) — Several passengers aboard Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas said they heard “big explosions” after a fire broke out early Monday morning, charring the stern of the ship and forcing passengers to end their vacation early.

Royal Caribbean International said that the cruise line is arranging flights for all 2,224 guests, who could start flying back home as early as Tuesday. Passengers will receive a full refund of their fare and a certificate for a future cruise.

Royal Caribbean said the fire was discovered at 2:50 a.m. ET Monday on the mooring area on deck three of its 11 decks.

Passenger Luke Sluscher, 20, was awakened by the commotion. When he stepped outside his room, he “heard crew yelling mayday, mayday, as they ran to put out the fire.”

The cruise line said the fire was extinguished and the affected area was cordoned off. Guests were allowed to return to their staterooms, the company said, at 7:15 a.m. ET. No injuries were reported.

After assessing the damage, which gutted the rear of the ship on at least one deck, RCI officials decided to end the cruise in Freeport to make repairs. It’s not clear when the ship will be able to serve passengers again, though all systems remain operable. The May 31 cruise out of Baltimore has been cancelled.

Dan McTigue was one of the many frightened passengers hustling to muster stations near lifeboats during the ordeal.

“I heard these big explosions and saw the fire jump out of the ship. We couldn’t get to the muster station because it was on fire,” McTigue said.

Photos show a substantial area of the stern burned on several decks and the fire destroyed a dining area and a bar. ABC News has obtained photos of the interior of the ship in the aftermath of the fire, showing yellow tape and fire hoses crisscrossing the corridor near smoke-damaged walls.

The Grandeur of the Seas, which left Baltimore on Friday, never lost power and was able to sail into port in Freeport, Bahamas, Monday afternoon. It had been planned to be a seven-night cruise. Royal Caribbean told ABC News that about 20 people “took ill.” Medical staff reported two guests were treated after fainting, with one report of high blood pressure and another of cramps.

The crew was able to control the fire but not passengers’ fear as they waited for more than four hours to be given the all clear.

“I started crying. I thought we were gonna die…,” said McTigue’s granddaughter, Sophia.

Hours after the ship reached the Bahamas, Royal Caribbean President and CEO Adam Goldstein arrived on the island to meet with guests and crew.

The incident follows a series of high-profile cruise ship mishaps on Carnival Corp. ships, the largest operator worldwide. An engine room fire crippled the Carnival Triumph on its way from Galveston, Texas, to Cozumel, Mexico in February. It took tug boats nearly five days to haul it back to Mobile, Ala., as conditions and sanitation aboard the 1,000-foot ship deteriorated. In April, it broke away from its mooring in Mobile, Ala. while 800 people were on board.

Last year Carnival’s Costa Concordia ran aground off the cost of Italy, killing 30 people. Salvage efforts are still underway for the ship, which held 3,229 passengers and 1,023 crew.


Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

May 252013

Fuse(NEW YORK) — Fire officials are warning folks to remember proper grill safety when lighting up the barbecue this Memorial Day Weekend.

David Cherrone, Fire Marshall for Clay Township, outside of South Bend, Ind., says a common mistake is grilling on wood decks and balconies.

“There’s nothing against your grill sitting on your balcony. It’s just that when you get ready to use it, it needs to be on the main level at least 15 feet away.” Cherrone said. “We’ll get calls for either the grill is on fire [and then] people calling to say their deck is on fire.”

Cherrone says another rule cooks often forget is to check for leaky hoses. Leaking propane is a serious fire hazard.

“If [the grill] sits outside, replace it yearly. If you store it away then every other year is a good way to replace those to make sure again that the diaphragms stay fresh, that you have less chance of leakage,” he said.

Cherrone also says to avoid lighting the grill when the lid is shut, as rather than allowing the gas to vent it builds up and flashes back upon ignition.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

May 052013

iStockphoto(SAN FRANCISCO) — Five people were killed and a number of others injured when a limousine caught fire late Saturday on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge.

The victims were all women in their thirties on their way to a dance. Four other women and the driver of the limousine were able to escape the blaze. Four of the survivors were taken to the hospital; three for treatment of minor injuries and smoke inhalation, and one due to severe burns, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Amelia Jack.

The cause of the fire is not known at this time. It does not appear that the limousine was involved in a collision, California Highway Patrol Spokesman Officer Art Montiel said.

“It appears that the fire started in the back,” Montiel said, before adding that he could not confirm that until the investigation had been completed.

Authorities shut down all westbound lanes on the bridge due to the fire, though they have since been reopened.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio