Articles on this Page
- 01/09/14--15:21: _Students Approached...
- 01/10/14--05:11: _School Delays, Slic...
- 01/10/14--10:11: _Fairfield Man Accus...
- 01/10/14--10:21: _Police Ask Drivers ...
- 01/10/14--14:20: _Boy "Tortured" Befo...
- 01/10/14--13:56: _Customer Tosses Cof...
- 01/10/14--12:11: _Special Election Se...
- 01/10/14--11:24: _$23K Raised for Hom...
- 01/10/14--13:11: _Woman Charged in Ki...
- 01/10/14--13:22: _Man Sentenced in 20...
- 01/10/14--13:47: _Man Accused of Sexu...
- 01/10/14--12:17: _Target: Data Hack H...
- 01/10/14--14:06: _Man Found Dead in H...
- 01/11/14--11:46: _Feds OK Reopening o...
- 01/11/14--12:35: _Man Arrested for Va...
- 01/11/14--12:36: _Board of Aldermen C...
- 01/11/14--21:19: _"Heroic" Nurse Save...
- 01/10/14--19:23: _Reunion After Dog S...
- 01/11/14--04:04: _Calif. Swine Flu Vi...
- 01/11/14--03:34: _Canton Garage Destr...
- 01/09/14--15:21: Students Approached By Stranger in Windsor
- 01/10/14--05:11: School Delays, Slick Roads
- 01/10/14--10:11: Fairfield Man Accused of Sex Assault of Minor
- 01/10/14--10:21: Police Ask Drivers to Avoid Route 305 in Windsor
- 01/10/14--14:20: Boy "Tortured" Before Death: DA
- 01/10/14--13:56: Customer Tosses Coffee on Woman
- 01/10/14--12:11: Special Election Set to Fill Former Senator Harp’s Seat
- 01/10/14--11:24: $23K Raised for Homeless Woman
- 01/10/14--13:11: Woman Charged in Kidnapping, Gang Sex Assault of Teen
- 01/10/14--13:22: Man Sentenced in 2012 Wethersfield Home Invasion
- 01/10/14--13:47: Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting 10-Year-Old Girl
- 01/10/14--12:17: Target: Data Hack Hit Up to 110M
- 01/10/14--14:06: Man Found Dead in Home With Dozens of Cats
- 01/11/14--11:46: Feds OK Reopening of Poultry Plant
- 01/11/14--12:35: Man Arrested for Vandalizing Police Cars
- 01/11/14--12:36: Board of Aldermen Considers to Change Park Ordinance
- 01/11/14--21:19: "Heroic" Nurse Saves Pilot Mid-Air
- 01/10/14--19:23: Reunion After Dog Survives Cold
- 01/11/14--04:04: Calif. Swine Flu Victim Dead at 23
- 01/11/14--03:34: Canton Garage Destroyed by Fire
Windsor police have increased patrols after two instances in which a man approached middle school students who were walking two and from school.
A student reported being approached by a man around 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday in the area of Salem Circle. The student described the man as being approximately 40 years old, with gray facial hair and wearing glasses.
On Wednesday, a man in a white van with a ladder on top approached two students as they walked home from school in the area of Capen and Preston Streets around 3 p.m. The man in that incident was described as 30-40 years old with thinning hair and wearing glasses.
It is not clear if the incidents are related, police said.
Officers have increased patrols in school areas while they investigate both incidents.
Anyone with information on the incidents is asked to call the Windsor Police Department at 860-688-5273.
There are more than 200 school and business delays this morning after early-morning snow. The snow is moving out of the state, but there are some problems on the roads.
A crash is causing delays on Interstate 395 South in Norwich.
Two cars crashed between exits 81 and 80 and the right lane is closed, according to the state Department of Transportation.
That is one of several issues. There have also been several spinouts this morning.
The state Department of Motor Vehicles is delaying road tests until 9:30 a.m. due to slippery driving conditions.
If your road test is scheduled before 9:30 a.m., call the DMV to choose a new date.
Call 860-263-5700 if you are in the Hartford area or 800-842-8222 for those outside the Hartford area.
The DMV is also attempting to contact people with road test appointments to advise them of the schedule change.
Check the DMV website for updates.
A Fairfield man has been arrested, accused of sexually assaulting a minor.
The case originated in Wallingford in October when a child’s parents went to authorizes about a sex assault in Wallingford. They said they believed someone the family knew committed the crimes and said the man lives in Fairfield, according to police.
The parents also said they believed that the same man, identified as Robert Purcell, of Fairfield, had committed more crimes in Fairfield and Stratford.
Wallingford police interviewed Purcell at the Fairfield Police Department and determined that he had assaulted the minor more than 12 times over four years, police said.
Fairfield Detectives took Purcell into custody on Nov. 26. They served a Wallingford arrest warrant charging him with first-degree sex assault and risk of injury to a minor and turned Purcell over to Wallingford Police.
Fairfield police also launched their own investigation into Purcell.
Working with an inspector at the Bridgeport Superior Court, Wallingford Detectives and the State’s Attorney’s office in New Haven, they found evidence that Purcell had assaulted a boy in February 2011 at his Fairfield home, police said. It was described as the most serious of all the events, police said.
This morning, Purcell went to the Fairfield Police Department upon learning that there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest and he was charged with first-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.
Bond was set at $100,000 and Purcell was transported to Bridgeport court for arraignment today.
Photo Credit: Fairfield Police
Robert Purcell is accused of sexually assaulting a minor.
A damaged sewer line in Windsor is expected to cause traffic problems into Monday.
The Metropolitan District Commission is working to repair a damaged sewer line in the 800 block of Route 305, or Bloomfield Avenue, between Addison and Marshal Phelps roads.
Police said they expect that work will continue through the weekend and into Monday January 13, causing significant traffic delays for drivers.
Windsor Police are asking driver to avoid the area and find an alternate route to and from work or home.
Photo Credit: NBC Philadelphia
A damaged sewer line in Windsor is expected to cause traffic problems into Monday.
The 4-year-old boy who was found dead in a Times Square apartment with burns and cuts on his body had been "tortured" and starved for the last three weeks of his life, including being forced to stand on an apartment balcony in his underwear in near-zero temperatures, prosecutors said Friday.
The child, Myls Dobson, had been left with a babysitter after his father was arrested in December. That woman, 27-year-old Kryzie King, was arraigned Friday on assault and reckless endangerment charges.
At her arraignment, prosecutors said he had been burned, beaten and cut all over his body, tortured for the three weeks that he had been in her care.
He had not been fed in two weeks, and was forced out in the cold the week he died, prosecutors said.
King's attorney said the investigation is still going but his client "must be presumed innocent." He said she has been "depressed and sullen."
Earlier in the day Friday, the child's mother, who did not have custody of her son, wept at a news conference as she said she had only wanted the best for him.
"I always wanted the best for my son, my baby," said Ashley Dobson as she cried at a news conference.
Dobson had been trying to get her son back for weeks, her representatives said. A spokesman said a Family Court judge gave custody to his father in 2012 because she was living in a shelter and was not able to care for him financially.
Officers found the boy when they responded to a 911 call at a building on West 48th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue around 11 a.m. Wednesday.
His mother last saw him in November, her lawyers said.
Sources close to the investigation told NBC 4 New York the boy had been known to child welfare authorities since 2011, when a neglect case was brought against his mother.
The child was living with his grandmother when his father, Okee Wade, petitioned for custody of the child, the sources said.
Wade was granted custody in August of 2012 but on the condition that child protective services visit the boy twice a month for one year. A warrant was issued for Wade's arrest following an racketeering indictment in June for allegedly siphoning money from bank accounts in Atlantic City.
Wade left his son in the custody of King on Dec. 18 and was shortly after arrested in New York and extradited to New Jersey, where he remains in custody, the sources said.
Myls had been with King since his father was jailed, investigators said.
The child welfare agency said Friday it was reviewing the case to learn what happened and what might have been done differently.
A man angry over an expired coupon tossed a full cup of hot coffee onto an employee of a Dunkin' Donuts.
According to Philadelphia Police the man frequents the store at N Broad Street and Wyoming Avenue in the city’s Logan neighborhood.
Earlier this week the man, who employees know as “Will” walked into the store and ordered a coffee. He tried using an expired coupon to pay for the coffee but wasn’t allowed to since the coupon expired, according to investigators.
After paying for the cup of joe, “Will” got into a verbal argument with the woman behind the counter, investigators said.
During the argument, “Will” began to leave the store but as he walked towards the door he turned back around and thrusted his cup of hot liquid into the worker’s face.
The woman was treated at an area hospital for coffee burns and some problems with her eyes that persisted days later.
The entire incident was captured on surveillance video.
Police hope that someone knows who “Will” is and that they will alert detectives.
Photo Credit: Surveillance Video
A special election will be held on Tuesday, February 25 to fill the state Senate seat Toni Harp held before becoming mayor of New Haven.
Harp was sworn into her new office on Jan. 1 and resigned from her state Senate seat this week.
The 10th Senatorial District covers portions of New Haven and West Haven.
State law requires the governor, in the event of a vacancy, to issue a Writ of Special Election for a special election to be held 46 days after its issuance.
Gov. Dannel Malloy filed writs with each of the town clerks of New Haven and West Haven today.
Photo Credit: AP
The Fifth District race has been decided.
Hundreds of people have come forward and donated to a fund for the homeless woman who alerted authorities about a man with a gun near the University of New Haven in December.
The fund has reached $23,000, according to Steve Kaplan, president of the university.
"This remarkable response demonstrates the UNH community's gratitude for our good Samaritan's heroic efforts, which potentially saved lives and certainly led to a swift apprehension of the armed suspect," Kaplan said in a statement he shared with the university community on Friday.
The mysterious woman contacted police on Dec. 3 to report seeing a man with a long gun walking toward campus.
Twenty minutes later, police took William Dong, 22, of Fairfield, into custody on the West Haven campus and said they found two loaded handguns on him. They also found a rifle in his car, which was parked in a lot on Campbell Avenue, police said.
Authorities also searched Dong’s Fairfield home and found his bedroom padlocked. Inside it, they located newspaper clippings about the Aurora, Colo., movie theater mass shooting and 2,700 rounds of ammunition, police said.
The woman who alerted authorities has chosen to remain anonymous.
While she does not want any public recognition, the university decided to honor her by doing something to help her meet her basic needs.
The school started the "UNH - Good Samaritan" fund and invited people to make donations. Kaplan said 100 percent of the funds collected will go directly to serving this woman’s needs.
The university said the woman told school officials that she never expected this kind of help.
"We continue to work with our good Samaritan to ensure that the funds donated are used to provide for her basic needs and help her gain independence. We seek to improve her quality of life because she cared so much about protecting ours. She is extremely grateful for the outpouring of generosity and says that she never expected this level of assistance," Kaplan said.
To help, you can send donations, payable to “UNH – Good Samaritan Fund.” to the attention of the VP for Finance, University of New Haven, 300 Boston Post Road, West Haven, CT 06516.
Or, you can make a donation online.
Dong has been charged with illegal possession of an assault weapon, breach of peace and other counts and is being held on a $500,000 bond. He is due back in court on Jan. 14.
Police have arrested a 21-year-old Moosup woman accused of kidnapping and sexual assaulting a 16-year-old girl at Moosup Little League Fields.
Police began investigating in October 2012 when the teen reported she had been kidnapped and taken to the Moosup Little League Fields on Lions Drive against her will and sexually assaulted by several people.
Police have made a second arrest in the case. The United States Marshals Office and Plainfield Police Department arrested Cherelle King, 21, whose last known address was in Moosup, Connecticut.
The United States Marshals Office took King into custody in Amityville, New York on Wednesday.
She waived extradition and was held at the Suffolk County Correctional Facility in New York.
At 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Plainfield Detectives took King into custody and she was extradited to Connecticut, processed at the Plainfield Police Department and charged with kidnapping in the first degree and conspiracy to commit aggravated sexual assault in the first degree.
On November 21, Plainfield police arrested Muhammed Yakubu, 27, and charged him with kidnapping in the first degree, aggravated sexual assault in the first degree, and conspiracy to commit aggravated sexual assault in the first degree in this case.
King was held on a $250,000 bond and arraigned at the Danielson Superior Court today.
Police said they are continuing to investigate the kidnapping and sexual assault.
Photo Credit: Plainfield Police
Cherelle King is the second person charged in a kidnapping and sex assault of a teenage girl.
A man who followed an elderly Wethersfield woman home from grocery shopping on June 22, 2012 and robbed her has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Eugene Edwards Jr. was sentenced today.
Police said he approached the woman in her garage when she returned home from Stop & Shop on Town Line Road in Rocky Hill, stole her money and jewelry and fled in a white car.
Police said they found fingerprints on the vehicle, police said, and Edwards was charged with home invasion, first-degree robbery, second-degree larceny and assault on an elderly person.
A jury found Edwards guilty on Nov. 6.
Photo Credit: Wethersfield Police
Eugene Edwards, 50, is accused of following an elderly woman home from a grocery store and robbing her at gunpoint.
A 36-year-old Bridgeport man has been arrested, accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl in Shelton in August.
Police said they received a complaint accusing Kristal Turman of inappropriate sexual contact with a 10-year-old girl on August 24 while she was at a family member’s house.
Turman was arrested on Dec. 31 on a warrant charging him with fourth-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.
He was arraigned the same day and is due in court again on Jan. 15. Police said there are also active arrest warrants for Turman for crimes related to sexual contact with juveniles in South Carolina and Georgia.
Photo Credit: Shelton Police
The massive data breach that hit Target during the holiday shopping rush may have ensnarled up to 110 million of its customers and compromised more kinds of personal data than originally thought, the company disclosed Friday.
Target announced in December that payment data for roughly 40 million customers who used credit and debit cards in their stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 was at risk. On Friday, it said an ongoing internal investigation into the hack found that the breach also included names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses for 70 million customers. Some of the personal information stolen was obtained by the store prior to the breach. A spokeswoman for the company told NBC News there could be some overlap between the two groups of data.
"I know that it is frustrating for our guests to learn that this information was taken and we are truly sorry they are having to endure this," Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer for Target said in a statement. "I also want our guests to know that understanding and sharing the facts related to this incident is important to me and the entire Target team."
Much of the customer data stolen in the breach, which occurred at stores throughout the United States, was "partial in nature," Target said. The company is offering one year of free credit monitoring and identify theft protection to "all guests who shopped at our U.S. stores."
Photo Credit: Getty Images
A Target store is seen on December 19, 2013 in Miami, Florida. Target announced that 70 million people had their personal information compromised.
A man was found dead in a Hartford home with dozens of cats this afternoon and police are investigating this as a suspicious death.
An elderly woman who lives in the home had gone to Hartford Hospital a few days earlier and is in critical condition, police said.
Police went to the home around 2 p.m. today after the hospital contacted them to check on the house.
Police said the residence is on Bannister Street.
Police and animal control officers are at the scene.
No additional information was immediately available.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
The USDA has lifted the suspension at a Foster Farms plant in California’s Central Valley.
The plant will resume production Saturday morning.
The USDA shut down the chicken processing plant in Livingston on Wednesday after inspectors found it infested with cockroaches.
Foster Farms released a statement Friday, saying the Food Safety and Inspection Service investigators has determined Foster Farms' action plan to correct the problems addresses the agency's concerns.
“This is an isolated incident,” the company said in the statement. “No other company plants are affected. Today’s treatment is expected to fully resolve this incident.”
Foster Farms says the FSIS will continue to monitor compliance with the plan as well as the conditions at the plant.
This all comes months after a massive salmonella outbreak that spread to at least 23 states and Puerto Rico and sickened hundreds of people, including dozens in California.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture had issued a health warning for the chicken but did not issue a recall. A spokesman for Foster Farms said the infections were caused by eating undercooked or improperly handled chicken.
An agreement made in October between the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service and Foster Farms allowed the Foster Farms plants in California, two plants in Fresno and one in Livingston to remain open, as long as they enhance food safety practices.
Some of the salmonella strains are resistant to antibiotics, with a hospitalization rate that's double the normal amount, according to the California Department of Public Health.
Salmonella is a pathogen that contaminates meat during slaughter and processing, and is especially common in undercooked chicken.
Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
A Foster Farms truck is seen in this file image.
New Haven Police have arrested a man after they caught him trying to vandalize police cruisers.
Jeffrey Jones, 50, stood inside a New Haven courtroom Friday afternoon facing charges of breach of peace and criminal attempt to commit criminal mischief. Police picked him up Thursday after they allegedly caught him throwing nails under 75 police cruisers and officers' personal cars that were parked on West Water and Orange Streets behind the police department.
New Haven Police say there have been other acts of vandalism at the department, including cars being keyed, paint being thrown at the building and the flag being cut down from its pole. Police are investigating to see if Jones is responsible for those acts as well.
They're also looking to talk to Jones about the hoaxes at Yale University in November and Hillhouse High School in December. Right now, police say he is not considered a suspect, but someone they have wanted to question.
According to police, both incidents began when an anonymous caller dialed 9-1-1 from a payphone to say a shooter was heading to the school. It sparked a lockdown at Yale with SWAT teams going through every building on Old Campus.
“They knocked on my door and said, ‘State Police, please open up.’ So I opened the door for them, they checked my room, and then they escorted me out,” explained Amy Ho, back in November.
At Hillhouse High School, there was also a lockdown and panicked parents rushing to get their children once it was lifted.
“I got a text from my niece saying that the school was on lock down because someone was threatening to shoot it up and with everything that's been going on, I would feel more comfortable with my niece and my cousin at home where I know they're safe,” said Jasmine Moncrease, back in December.
Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
Symbolically burning a copy of New Haven's proposed park ordinance showed what the Amistad Catholic Worker House thinks of the ordinance changes that the Board of Aldermen will be taking up this year. Among the changes are limiting the hours the New Haven green would be open and prohibiting people from staying there overnight.
“Sleeping overnight in the other city parks is already prohibited and the City is seeking to take away the last refuge of some of our community members,” said Sarah Raven, a member of the Amistad Catholic Worker House.
The Amistad Catholic Worker House is worried about what will happen to the homeless after the city shelters close for the winter.
“This park ordinance will criminalize people who are homeless and sleep on the green,” said Raven.
They also say that the ordinance is too broad and would make it more difficult for anyone to gather on the green, because they would need to have permits and pay fees. It would potentially prevent another movement like Occupy New Haven from setting up shop like it did in 2012.
Laurence Grotheer, Director of Communications for Mayor Toni Harp, said, "The proposed ordinance amendments regarding the City's parks and open spaces were drafted and submitted while the previous administration was still in office. Officials of the new administration have not yet had an opportunity to review them but will do so as the amendments move through the legislative process."
Still, people who use the New Haven green aren't on board with the new proposed rules.
“I really don't think it would work because you're infringing on people's right, they have the right to assemble,” said Stephen Smith of Meriden.
“Do something about the homeless people first. Get them a place to stay,” said Jesse Toro of New Haven.
Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
Linda Alweiss was relaxing with a Sudoku puzzle on a flight home to Southern California from Iowa for the holidays Dec. 30 when the flight crew asked if any passengers could provide medical help.
The registered nurse from Camarillo quickly volunteered. The flight attendant took her to the cockpit for the medical emergency.
The pilot was slumped in his seat.
After years in pediatric intensive care, Alweiss was thankful she had recently recertified her advanced cardiac life support.
"He was clearly suffering from a possibly fatal arrhythmia,” Alweiss said.
Her husband, Alan, and another passenger helped move the captain from the cramped cockpit to the galley floor. Alweiss and another registered nurse, Amy Sorenson, of Wyoming, went to work, hooking up a diagnostic defibrillator and starting an IV.
And they stayed with their patient right through the emergency landing in Omaha.
"We couldn't leave his side, fortunately smooth landing.”
Paramedics met the United jetliner on the tarmac -- with the pilot still alive, to sighs of relief from the nurses and the co-pilot.
"Her actions were heroic,” Alan Alweiss said. “She didn't hesitate for a second."
When the interrupted flight resumed the next day, Linda Alweiss found herself seated next to the copilot from the night before, and she got brought up to date on the captain.
"They were able to get him into a cardiac unit,” she said. “He had survived."
Linda Alweiss is credited with saving the life of a pilot who suffered heart problems aboard her flight on Dec. 30.
A family from Maryland will soon reunite with their dog who got lost in Maine nearly two weeks ago.
Dempsey's owners had gone to Maine for the holidays, but a few days after Christmas, the dog jumped over a fence and got away, NECN reported. They searched for days with no luck. Eventually, they returned to Maryland, heartbroken.
A woman in Maine who saw Dempsey's missing information on Facebook had a feeling she was meant to find the dog. Christine Pierce says she has a boxer, too, and she would want someone else to look for her pet if he was lost.
Dempsey spent nine days outside. He survived ice storms, snow storms, even being hit by a car. Pierce finally found him in an abandoned warehouse and rushed him to the Madison Animal Hospital. He had a broken leg, was experiencing seizures and lost half of his body weight, but he is expected to recover.
Pierce says she feels blessed that she was able to find Dempsey and tell his owners that they will get their dog back.
A fund has been set up at the Madison Animal Hospital to help pay for Dempsey's medical costs, which now tops $2,000. Donations can be made in Dempsey's name to the hospital at 207-696-5200.
Photo Credit: NECN
He was young, active and healthy, but that was no match for this year's deadly flu virus.
Matthew Walker, 23, is one of the latest victims to die from the flu, specifically the H1N1 virus commonly known as swine flu.
The death of the young man from Santa Rosa this week is catching the attention of a lot of people.
Walker’s friends and family are devastated.
“I can't believe something like this could happen to someone so young,” said 21-year-old Tanner Petersen, Walker’s friend and co-worker.
Petersen said he can’t believe his friend is gone. Just three weeks ago, Walker was working beside him in the produce department of G and G Supermarket in Santa Rosa before coming down with a fatal case of the flu.
“He'd been coughing for awhile, but it didn't seem like anything, just a normal cough,” Petersen said. “Just this quickly, like boom, he goes from being completely fine to where we're at right now.”
MORE: Flu Prevention Tips
Walker's health spiraled down incredibly fast. He chronicled it all on Facebook:
On Dec. 22 he wrote: “Woke up heeeela sick…sore throat cough runny nose.”
Two days later he wrote: "I'm so over being sick.”
But by the end of that week he was in the hospital a second time: "Lying in a gurney with 103 temp today no fun,” he wrote. Within hours, Walker had gone Code Blue.
“It's a very ragged roller coaster ride, with a horrible ending,” Walker’s father Cliff told NBC Bay Area via telephone.
Walker's father, who enjoyed playing music with his son, said it's hard to accept. He said his son played the saxophone and harmonica, and was an avid skateboarder, but above all he was healthy.
Cliff Walker is warning other young people to take care of themselves. His 23-year-old son didn't get a flu shot, something Matthew Walker's father says would have saved him.
“Take very seriously respiratory stuff, and get your shots if you don't have the symptoms,” Cliff Walker said. “If you have the symptoms, get treatment now.”
“It's scared me a lot,” Petersen said.
A shaken Petersen just got the flu vaccination, but he is heartbroken his friend couldn't be saved.
“I just want him to know I love him, and we care about him,” Petersen said. “We miss you, man.”
Walker’s father confirms it was the H1N1 virus that took his son’s life. Matthew was hospitalized within days of showing symptoms.
With his family by his side, Matthew Walker succumbed to the flu on Wednesday. He is survived by his parents, as well as four brothers and a sister.
Canton fire officials are responding to a fire at 14 North Street, where a private garage went up in flames around 3 a.m. Saturday.
Crews said they arrived to find what looked like an inferno and quickly called for mutual aid from Hartford and Burlington.
No one was inside at the time of the fire, but people living nearby were evacuated as a precaution. According to the man who rented the garage, wood, paint and tools were inside, and firefighters said some of those materials amplified the flames.
“We believe there was welding gas inside paints and other petroleum products,” said Canton Fire Captain Wayne Goeben.
Fire officials said weather also posed a challenge this morning.
“The roads were a little icy,” said Goeben. “The Canton Department of Public Works was already in the area spreading salt prior to our arrival, so within minutes they improved dramatically.”
The water company was also put on standby to make sure hydrants didn’t freeze while crews doused the flames.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
Firefighters arrived at this garage in Canton early Saturday morning to fight the blaze that caused nearby residents to evacuate.