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December 18, 2013 | By Patrick Kevin Day
Christmas not complete without film of a burning Yule log playing on your TV? The annual holiday tradition is back this year, but with a few modern variations. The annual Yule log film began in 1966 when New York station WPIX first aired a three-hour film of logs burning in a fireplace on Christmas Eve. Ratings were surprisingly good, so the next year the film was re-aired, and then re-aired again. "The Yule Log" airing became a WPIX tradition in New York, where many apartment dwellers had no fireplace of their own, but eventually ended in 1989.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 16, 2013 | By Samantha Schaefer
A fire in Monterey County has burned more than 300 acres of dense, dry vegetation, prompting some evacuations in the Big Sur area, officials said. Dubbed the Pfeiffer fire, the blaze started late Sunday near the intersection of Pfeiffer Ridge Road and Highway 1, said Andrew Madsen, a spokesman for the Los Padres National Forest. At least 50 people have been evacuated from the area, he said. Air tankers, four helicopters and a strike team of engines from the Angeles National Forest were assisting crews on the ground, who are working to put containment lines in place, Madsen said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 16, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
A woman was found dead inside a burned-out car on the 110 Freeway in South Los Angeles late Sunday night, authorities said. California Highway Patrol cars and firefighters responded at about 10:30 p.m. to a report of a car fire on the northbound 110 Freeway near Vernon Avenue, according to the CHP.  Arriving on the scene, they found a vehicle blocking the onramp and discovered the body of the woman inside. The woman was not immediately identified, and the incident remains under investigation, officials said.
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.
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
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 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.
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