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September 13th, 2013
05:53 AM ET

Iconic NJ Boardwalk Engulfed In Flames

One year after residents in a Jersey Shore community faced the decimation of their neighborhood by Superstorm Sandy, a massive fire causes another devastating scene.  CNN's Don Lemon reports.

A massive fire that started small, as amateur video shows it erupting at an ice cream stand around 2pm, swelled with the wind Thursday.

In Seaside Park and Seaside Heights, New Jersey, many businesses are damaged or destroyed and many lives upended with six blocks of boardwalk gone.

Christine Hemingway, an employee at Kohr's Frozen Custard Shop, escaped the fire but says, "My manager came in the stand and told me to get out because there was smoke coming up through the boardwalk. We ran away and turned around again and there were just flames coming out of the building."

Hundreds of firefighters eventually containing the fire by building a 20-foot wide trench.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said, "I said to my staff I feel like I want to throw up."

While repairs to the boardwalk after the massive storm Sandy let the attraction be open for the summer season in May, the state's resolve will be tested once again now.

Christie:  "And listen, this is us. So as soon as this is over, we'll pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and we'll get back to work."

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Filed under: Fire • New Jersey
July 1st, 2013
05:51 AM ET

West, Southwest baking under triple-digit temps – Tory Dunnan reports

A record-breaking heat wave is baking the west and southwest—with no immediate end in sight.

In California's Death Valley—one of the hottest places on earth—they haven't seen this kind of heat in almost a century.

CNN's Tory Dunnan has details.

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Filed under: Fire • Heat wave
July 1st, 2013
05:48 AM ET

Nineteen firefighters die in Arizona fighting Yarnell Hill fire – Kyung Lah reports

CNN is following the latest out of central Arizona, where 19 firefighters were killed battling an out-of-control blaze. It is now the greatest loss of life for firefighters since 9/11.

Located near Phoenix, the Yarnell Hill fire has now grown to 6,000 acres and burned dozens of structures. Authorities believe it began with a lightning strike and is being fueled by extreme heat, drought conditions and gusty winds.

CNN's Kyung Lah is on the phone with more from Arizona.

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Filed under: Fire • Firefighters • Tragedy
May 6th, 2013
08:44 AM ET

Limousine fire kills 31-year-old bride and four of her friends – CNN's Nick Valencia reports

Monday morning investigators continue to piece together the clues to figure out how a limousine suddenly burst into flames – killing five people headed to a bachelorette party, including the bride-to-be.

For more on this story: Bride, 4 friends die in bachelorette limo

– CNN's Nick Valencia reports

Filed under: Bachelorette • Fire • Limousine
April 25th, 2013
06:33 AM ET

VIDEO: 3 injured after two fuel barges explode in Alabama


CNN) - Authorities kept their distance as a fire raged on board a pair of fuel barges on Thursday morning, hours after exploding at a docking area on Alabama's Mobile River.

Steve Huffman with Mobile Fire and Rescue said conditions remain too volatile for fire crews to approach. At least six explosions have been reported and were heard up to 20 miles away.

Just half a mile across the river, Alan Waugh, the general manager at the Ft. Conde Inn, said he saw and heard the initial explosion when it happened.

Huffman said Wednesday night that authorities hadn't determined what caused the blasts, but were in the process of being prepped for reload when the explosion happened. The fire department's Twitter feed said they were filed with gasoline.

On "Early Start" this morning, WEAR reporter Kalie Desimone shares details on may have caused two fuel barge explosions in Mobile, Alabama.

READ MORE: Two fuel barges on Alabama's Mobile River explode; 3 hurt

Filed under: Fire
January 28th, 2013
06:03 AM ET

Deadly fire breaks out in Brazil nightclub killing 231 people – Shasta Darlington reports


Santa Maria, Brazil (CNN) - Workers combing through the charred wreckage of Kiss nightclub in southern Brazil on Sunday encountered the eerie sound of ringing cell phones.

Glauber Fernandes, a reporter from CNN affiliate Band News, explains.

"It was a really complicated scene. A lot of smoke, a lot of shoes that was left, cell phones, because everybody tried to get out of there running," he said. "While we were there, we saw the cell phones were ringing. It was parents, friends, trying to know about what was happening and nobody was answering."

A fire swept through the packed, popular nightclub in Santa Maria early Sunday, killing at least 231 people - enough to fill a large plane - Brazilian Health Minister Alexandro Padilha told reporters. Of those, 185 have been identified so far.

Many apparently died from smoke inhalation. Others were trampled in the rush for the exits, one security guard told Band News.

More than 90 people were hospitalized, Padilha said, including 14 patients with severe burns.

This morning on "Early Start," CNN's Shasta Darlington reports on the latest in the investigation into the fire.

READ MORE: Fire rips through crowded Brazil nightclub, killing 233

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Filed under: Fire
December 27th, 2012
07:53 AM ET

Tributes to fallen firefighters from Christmas Eve blaze in Webster, NY; Fire Marshal of Webster Robert Boutillier reflects

This morning, we hear new recordings from a tragic Christmas Eve fire that stunned the town of Webster, a town in upstate New York. The blaze was set in a Webster home as a trap by a gunman who then targeted firefighters who responded. Sixty two-year-old William Spengler started a massive fire, then shot and killed two firefighters and injured two others.The awful scene playing out on the scanner: “Multiple firemen down. Multiple firemen shot. I am shot. I think it was an assault rifle. We have multiple firemen down. With a working fire.”

The two injured firefighters, who are still recovering in the hospital, released a statement thanking the nation for its support. They say: "We are humbled and a bit overwhelmed by the outpouring of well wishes for us and our families. Like so many others, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Michael Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka, and with those who lost their homes."

Meanwhile, the town is mourning for those two firemen who lost their lives as investigators try to figure out how and why this happened. Robert Boutillier is Fire Marshal of Webster, New York. He joins us live from Rochester, NY with the latest on investigation.

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Filed under: Crime • Fire