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On the morning of Nov. 21, 1980, the sound of sirens stirred Rafael Patino from bed. "Usually when you hear sirens, they come and then they go," he said. "But these were coming and staying." When he looked out the window of his 16th-floor room, he realized that the Las Vegas MGM Grand Hotel was on fire. "I woke up my wife and we got dressed to leave," said Patino, an Irvine sales executive. "But when we walked out of the room, we couldn't see anything. The hall was pitch black with smoke.
April 12, 2014 | By Kate Mather, Paige St. John and Ruben Vives
ORLAND, Calif. -- The investigation into the fatal bus crash in Northern California took a new twist after two witnesses said the FedEx truck was on fire before it hit the tour bus filled with high school students. The witnesses said flames were visible from the big rig as it crossed the grassy median on Interstate 5 and hit their car, then the bus. Bonnie and Joe Duran told TV reporters in Northern California that their Nissan Altima sideswiped by the truck before it collided head-on with the bus. “It was on fire already,” Bonnie Duran said.
May 24, 1999
I read "Firefighters Demand Safer Exits for Students" (May 17) with great interest. The article even prompted calls to the local fire department and the state fire marshal. Alas, the new law will do nothing to require correction of the unsafe situation my students and I face daily. I teach in a portable classroom with only one door and no windows. I think it's great that classroom windows will have to be equipped with "breakaway" grilles, but what about the countless students and teachers trapped in rooms with only one door and no windows?
April 12, 2014 | By Kate Mather, Paige St. John and Ruben Vives
ORLAND, Calif. -- Two witnesses said Friday that a FedEx truck was on fire before it hit a tour bus filled with high school students in Northern California, killing 10. Bonnie and Joe Duran, whose car was hit by the big rig before it collided with the bus Thursday on Interstate 5 in Orland, told several TV stations that they saw flames coming from the truck as it crossed the center median. “I was heading along the outside lane. And I looked over and saw the FedEx truck coming right for me and it was on fire already,” Bonnie Duran told KCBS radio.
October 20, 1991
Because of the recent articles by Amy Pyle, the real problems at Malibou Lakeside can no longer be ignored. Mr. Bendel's letter stated "safety cannot be compromised." Therefore, we challenge Randy Bendel and the MLHA to prove their concern for the fire safety of this community by working to: (1) stop the blockage of emergency equipment caused by cars of illegal tenants parked on the streets; (2) insist that single-family dwellings not be converted into illegal multiple units, creating over-population; (3)
July 31, 1985
A Wilshire district apartment fire has provided graphic proof of the life-saving nature of the heavy fire doors required off stairwells, smoke detectors and other safety devices. It was a tragic fire, to be sure, because one man died and dozens are living in temporary quarters. But the first firefighters on the scene at the N. Oxford Street building saw the blaze leaping out of the stairwell windows and thought that they could lose 20 or more people.
January 25, 1996 | ALAN EYERLY
Children in the Magnolia and Anaheim City school districts will soon be receiving fire safety lessons in a 12-week pilot program that may eventually expand citywide. The Learn Not to Burn program, funded through a $20,000 grant from the Massachusetts-based National Fire Protection Assn., is designed to show children in preschool through third grade how to prevent fires and respond to emergencies.
January 23, 1994 | KATHLEEN DOHENY
When guests book a hotel room, most ask about rates, beds and check-out time. Often neglected is the potentially life-saving question: Are the rooms equipped with sprinklers and smoke detectors? If this is a question you ask regularly, you greatly increase your chances of surviving a hotel blaze. When used in tandem, sprinklers and smoke detectors can prevent up to 90% of fire deaths, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, the fire safety branch of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
June 6, 1996 | ALAN EYERLY
Local youngsters have been learning to "stop, drop and roll" if their clothes catch fire, to remind their parents about checking smoke detector batteries and never to play with matches or lighters. Those lessons, part of a four-month pilot program called "Learn Not to Burn," ended this week as members of the Anaheim Fire Department visited elementary schools to congratulate the students on their diligence.
December 23, 1993
How long should it take 70 dancers, musicians and stuntmen to evacuate a Rose Parade float? Try 45 seconds. A 90-foot-long, 60-foot-high Wells Fargo Bank float depicting a clipper ship pulling up a dock where a stagecoach waits had a fire drill recently and met the time limit as a Fire Department official kept an eye on the clock. "That's one of the requirements," said John Reeder, a Tournament of Roses float entry coordinator. "Fire safety is of prime importance to us."
April 11, 2014 | By Paige St. John and Kate Mather
WILLOWS, Calif. -- Federal traffic safety investigators will be paying special attention to fire safety issues as well as whether crash victims were able to escape from the burning motor coach, both important concerns for the federal agency. Students in the bus have said riders broke windows in order to escape the fire. “The worst thing for the NTSB is to show up, know that we've issued recommendations from a previous accident where lives have been los t … and find out if those recommendations had been closed and enacted, lives could have been saved,” said Michael Rosekind, an NTSB board member who traveled with the investigation team to Orland.
August 23, 2013 | By Lew Sichelman
Wildfires like the one this summer that killed 19 elite firefighters near Yarnell, Ariz., can't be stopped. But there's plenty homeowners can do to protect their properties. If you don't think you should take remedial action, think again. One-third of all houses are located in what fire safety officials call wild-land urban districts, which are near or among areas prone to wildfires. Worse, perhaps, wildfires have ravaged houses in three-fourths of the 50 states. And with more and more people choosing to live in rural areas closer to nature, the chances are greater than ever that someone you know - maybe even you - will lose a house to a fire.
July 5, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Here's some reading for the rest of the Fourth of July holiday weekend: Michael Demson's graphic history “Masks of Anarchy” (Verso: 128 pp., $16.95) traces a connection between Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem “The Mask of Anarchy,” written in 1819 as a response to the “Peterloo Massacre” in Manchester, England, and the life of Pauline Newman , a New York labor organizer of the early 1900s who once worked at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company . It's a fascinating book for all sorts of reasons, not least its portrayal of America's ongoing antipathy toward immigrants, which, of course, remains very much in the news.
March 11, 2013
California has a love-hate relationship with wildfire. We can't live with it and can't live without it. For thousands of years, fire - caused mainly by lightning - was a natural part of the landscape, which evolved to thrive on and even require occasional blazes. The cones of the Tecate cypress, for example, a tree that grows only in Southern California and Baja Mexico, will open to release their seeds only after a scorching. Yet out-of-control fires also imperil property, homes and sometimes lives.
January 28, 2013 | By Vincent Bevins, Los Angeles Times
SANTA MARIA, Brazil - Brazilian police reportedly took four people into custody Monday in connection with a deadly nightclub fire that killed at least 231 people, as funerals began in the small town of Santa Maria. Two owners of the popular Kiss club and two members of the band that was performing at the time of the blaze early Sunday were being held for questioning, according to local press reports. The tragedy, meanwhile, put the country in a period of national mourning and self-reflection, with social networks and political discourse busy with commentary on the many issues facing Brazil, especially fire safety at night-life venues.
January 28, 2013 | By John M. Glionna
LAS VEGAS -- Las Vegas firefighter Tim Szymanski has rushed to blazes at other people's homes for 43 years, the last 30 as a public information officer and education coordinator. The other day, he rushed to a fire at his own home. In an odd twist of fate, a faulty exhaust fan in a second-floor bathroom ignited a blaze Friday morning. Szymanski, who was out running errands with his wife and son at the time, saw the trucks hurrying down the road, lights flashing, sirens wailing.
July 31, 1996 | FRANK MESSINA
The chance to live near scenic wilderness areas has been a big draw for homeowners, fueling South County's growth, officials agree. But that proximity also has the potential for disaster, said Fire Capt. Joseph D. Lowe, a Mission Viejo City Council member. "There is a fire hazard where native vegetation bumps into our fast-growing rural communities," Lowe said. "Collectively, we need to come up with ways to get the fire-safe message out."
November 27, 2012 | By Karin Klein
U.S. companies are scrambling to figure out whether clothing they sell was made in the Bangladesh garment factory where at least 112 people died in a fire. Though officials are looking at arson as the cause, there are a number of allegations about the building and how it was operated that may have contributed to the death toll: dummy fire extinguishers, at least one locked door and bosses who ordered the employees back to work after fire alarms went off. There were no emergency exits.
June 28, 2012
The California Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation might just be the most important state agency that no one's ever heard of. It is about to revamp the state's flammability standards for furniture, a mundane-sounding subject that will have significant ramifications not just in California but nationally as well. After years of legislative inaction - and years of studies linking chemical flame retardants to a wide variety of health problems - Gov. Jerry Brown is calling for an administrative overhaul of a 37-year-old fire safety rule that was developed with limited information about the dangers of many flame retardants, or about their lack of effectiveness.
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