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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 2013 | By Ruben Vives
A 70-year-old man suffered burns early Friday when a fire broke out inside a room at the Long Beach Veterans Administration hospital, fire officials said. According to Long Beach Fire Capt. Jim Arvizu, the fire was reported about 12:40 a.m. at the hospital at 5901 E. 7th St. Firefighters who arrived at the scene saw heavy smoke coming out from one of the windows of the building that houses elderly and hospice patients, Arvizu said. When they made it inside the building, crews discovered that the hospital's sprinkler system had doused the flames.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 12, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
A lawsuit filed this week by an East Oakland environmental group alleges the city approved a large crematorium without considering the impact that burning roughly 3,000 bodies a year could have on neighbors. The group, Communities for a Better Environment, believes city planners incorrectly labeled the crematorium a "general manufacturing facility" that did not need a public hearing to be approved, the San Francisco Chronicle  reported . Area residents are concerned the crematorium will send toxins into the already-polluted air. "We're in the midst of more toxic pollution here because we're a disenfranchised community," said Maxine Oliver-Benson , an East Oakland resident and member of Communities for a Better Environment.  "Our families' health is not being taken seriously and we don't want the dead to kill the living.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 6, 2013 | By Tony Barboza
Air quality officials on Friday approved $600,000 for contractors to design and install gas fire rings on public beaches, taking a new step in the fight over hundreds of wood-burning fire pits on Los Angeles and Orange County coast. The South Coast Air Quality Management District will pay two companies about $24,000 per unit to build more than two dozen gas or propane-burning fire pits. The vote came after Newport Beach officials agreed last week to eliminate more than half of the city's fire pits and replace some with cleaner, gas-fueled rings to reduce smoke drifting into shorefront homes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 4, 2013 | By Richard Winton, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
“Fast and Furious” star  Paul Walker  died from a combination of traumatic injuries and burns after the Porsche he was riding in crashed and erupted in flames, according to autopsy results released Wednesday by the Los Angeles County Coroner's office. The car's driver, 38-year-old Roger Rodas, died from traumatic injuries, coroner's officials said. Los Angeles County  Coroner 's Assistant Chief  Ed Winter said the men died "within seconds" of the crash. More details will be available when the final autopsy is released, Winter said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 2, 2013 | By James Barragan
A 26-year-old Reseda man accused of fatally burning his mother was ordered to stand trial Monday afternoon at the San Fernando courthouse. There was “overwhelming evidence" to try Phillip Chang on charges alleging that he attacked his sleeping mother with a makeshift blowtorch and chased her as she tried to flee, L.A. County Superior Court Judge Hayden Zacky said during a preliminary hearing. Chang faces one count each of attempted murder, torture, aggravated mayhem and murder, with special allegations of lying in wait, mayhem and torture.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 29, 2013 | By Joseph Serna
Los Angeles police say a burned body found in Playa Vista on Friday may have been the result of a suicide. The body of a severely burned adult male - possibly a transient - was found chained to a chain link fence behind an abandoned building next to the 405 Freeway about 7:15 a.m. in the 5700 block of Mesmer Avenue, said LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith. A gas can was found nearby, he added. Los Angeles police homicide detectives cordoned off the area Friday morning. The body was so badly burned the man could not be immediately identified.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 29, 2013 | By Joseph Serna
A body found burned in Playa Vista may be that of a homeless man, police said Friday. The body -- believed to be a male adult -- was found about 7:15 a.m. Friday by a security guard in the 5700 block of Mesmer Avenue, Los Angeles police said.  The body was found next to a chain link fence behind an abandoned building next to the 405 freeway and a flood channel. The body was "severely burned," but evidence suggests it may have been moved there after the man was dead, said LAPD Sgt. Sean Kinchla.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 29, 2013 | By Joseph Serna
Los Angeles police are investigating the discovery of a burned body found in Playa Vista early Friday. Authorities said the body of an adult male was found outside about 7:15 a.m. in the 5700 block of Mesmer Avenue. Homicide detectives were on the scene, but few details were immediately available. Los Angeles County coroner officials had yet to identify the body. There have been four violent crimes in Playa Vista in the last six months , according to the Los Angeles Times crime mapping database.
WORLD
November 28, 2013 | By Ramin Mostaghim
TEHRAN -- The Iranian capital has long been known for its smog, but pollution in recent days has taken an eye-watering turn for the worse, hampering visibility and causing authorities to shutter schools and curtail the number of cars allowed in the city center. Children and the elderly have been told to stay indoors if possible, and the smog has forced even healthy residents to cut back on strolls and jogs. On Wednesday, only cars with license plates ending in even numbers were permitted on downtown streets.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 27, 2013 | By Emily Foxhall
In a step toward re-imagining the classic Southern California seaside, Newport Beach city leaders have agreed to thin out the number of fire rings that dot the city's shoreline and seek the installation of natural gas fire pits instead. Sixty concrete fire rings on the sand in Balboa Peninsula and Corona del Mar have delighted beachgoers for decades and frustrated neighbors as everything from pizza boxes to couches went up in smoke. But as related health concerns from the billowing smoke have increased, so has the push to rid the beach of the fire pits.
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