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    The whodunnit from Tuesday’s blizzard -- Who shoveled the snow off the Boston Marathon’s finish line? -- has been solved. At least partially.

    One of the mystery men has been identified as Chris Laudani, a runner and bartender at the Back Bay Social Club on Boylston Street. He has run the Boston Marathon a few times and is just a fanatic about it, said Ryan Swann, the club's general manager.

    "He was actually working that day and then he asked if he could borrow the shovel for a little bit so he could go do it," Swann said.

    Laudani told Boston magazine that he wanted to send a message.

    "I love the Boston Marathon and everything it stands for," he said. "The finish line doesn’t deserve to be covered in snow.”

    But he is not a hero, a word being used about him on social media, he told the magazine.

    "I’m just a nut who loves the marathon," he said. "The real heroes are the people who were out there clearing the streets and sidewalks, the [Boston Police Department], and the [Boston Fire Department] who risk their lives every day to keep people safe."

    Philip Hillman took photos of what appears to be Laudani clearing the spot from the Charlesmark Hotel on Boylston Street and he started the search.

    He and others began tweeting with the hashtag #whoshoveledthefinishline in hopes of finding Laudani.

    “I had no idea it would have this response,” Hillman told Runner’s World in the wake of the storm, which dumped 18.5 inches in Boston on Tuesday.

    Hillman, the northeast district manager of the Rodney Strong Wine Estates in Healdsburg, California, told NBC that he had stayed overnight at the hotel because of the blizzard and was working in his room around noon on Tuesday when he stood up to stretch. He looked at the window and spotted the then mystery shoveler.

    “And I said, ‘How cool is that?’” he said. “This city loves the marathon and that little patch of ground is like sacred ground.”

    So he took a photo with his iPhone, another of the finish line alone and put it first on Facebook and then Twitter.

    “And the rest is history,” he said. “My buddy, he retweeted it and it’s been ongoing. I think we broke Twitter.”

    By Wednesday afternoon, even the Boston police department was tweeting the photos.

    Hillman said Laudani was there for about a half hour keeping the snow off as it fell.

    Another photographer, Adam Reynolds, got a close-up.

    And apparently, a second man also was out in the blizzard doing the same thing. Kelsey Karkos took a photograph of him and wrote on Instagram: "The guy was so nice to shovel off the #bostonmarathon finish line today to remind us why we go out there and run #everyday even in the blizzard! #bostonstrong #boston."

    She wrote that he saw her looking for the finish line while he was shoveling the sidewalk.

    "He knew exactly what I was looking for and came over to help me!," she wrote. "Such a great person with some boston spirit during the blizzard! I wish I knew his name!"

    The marathon will be run this year on April 18.

    Jury selection in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, accused of setting off two bombs near the finish line in 2013, was delayed because of the blizzard. The attack killed three people and wounded more than 260.

    Tsarnaev’s brother, Tamerlan, was killed during a shoot-out with police.



    Photo Credit: Philip Hillman II
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    Philip Hillman and his friends shared photos on Twitter of someone shoveling the Boston Marathon finish line during the Northeast blizzard.Philip Hillman and his friends shared photos on Twitter of someone shoveling the Boston Marathon finish line during the Northeast blizzard.

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    Interstate 395 North was closed in the area of exit 77 in Waterford as police investigated a crash, but it is back open, according to police.

    A photo from Watertown police showed a car on its side in the snow on the side of the highway.


     



    Photo Credit: Waterford Police
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    Part of I-395 in Waterford is closed as police respond to a crash.Part of I-395 in Waterford is closed as police respond to a crash.

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    A Christmas tree that had been cut down more than 60 days earlier fueled a massive mansion fire that killed six family members in Maryland, officials said Wednesday.

    The blaze was sparked by an electrical failure and quickly spread flames to the furniture and the family's 15-foot Christmas tree, authorities said Wednesday.

    "The involvement of the Christmas tree explains the heavy fire conditions encountered by responding fire crews," Anne Arundel County Fire Chief Allan Graves said at an afternoon news conference discussing the investigation's findings.

    The victims have been positively identified as Don Pyle, 56, Sandra Pyle, 63, and four of their grandchildren: sisters Alexis and Kaitlyn Boone, 8 and 7; and their cousins, siblings Charlotte and Wesley Boone, 8 and 6.

    The blaze was "a tragic accident that occurred at the absolutely worst possible time, while the Pyles and their grandchildren were sleeping," said Special Agent in Charge Bill McMullan with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

    Family members of the victims released a statement late Thursday, saying:

    "While the explanation that has been shared with us today does not bring solace, it does start us down the long road to acceptance.

    "To those who have kept us in your thoughts and prayers, please know how greatly it is appreciated. Your expressions of care and support will always be with us. Likewise, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Our tragedy has touched many lives in many families, and, in different degrees, is shared by each of us. Our hope is that our loss will raise awareness that this tragic event could happen to any family.

    "It is our hope that each of you are strengthened in your resolve to cherish your family, friends, and good times. With life so fleeting, make every day and every moment a special time with those you love."

    The Christmas tree was located in the family's great room, which had 19-foot ceilings and was surrounded by sleeping and living areas, Graves said.

    Sources said earlier Wednesday that investigators had found an electrical issue from an outlet behind the tree, which they recovered after the fire. The outlet powered the tree's 15,000 lights.

    However, it remains unknown what caused the tree to ignite. An official said there are several possible scenarios, and investigators will conduct test burns at an ATF lab in Beltsville, Marland.

    Reports indicate that the tree had been cut down more than 60 days before the fire, Graves said. Investigators recovered the tree stand and discovered an inch or two of fallen needles.

    Authorities believe the fire spread rapidly.

    "The fuel load from the Christmas tree itself is... what caused the fire to spread as quickly as it did," said an official.

    Investigators have also looked at recent family photos of the tree in the great room and photos taken prior to the blaze.

    "...We're aware that Christmas trees, when they're dry, they burn quickly," Graves said. "...Whatever the circumstance in which the Christmas tree ignited, which we believe was electrical in nature, was something that led to the large fire that was found by the crews when they first arrived."

    Graves said that the Christmas tree was lit "most of the time."

    Investigators found the remains of the final victim Monday, the Anne Arundel County Fire Department said.

    The six family members were in the mansion in the 900 block of Childs Point Road in Annapolis when the massive four-alarm fire tore through the home early Jan. 19.

    "Life is fragile. Make time today to embrace your loved ones," a statement from the Boone and Pyle families read in part.

    The house was equipped with a smoke alarm system monitored by a security company. Investigators said Wednesday that on the morning of the fire, the home's smoke alarm went off at 3:29 a.m.

    The alarm company called the house and got no answer. The company then called the Anne Arundel County Fire Department at 3:32 a.m.

    Firefighters were dispatched immediately and arrived at 3:42 a.m. During that 10-minute span, a neighbor called 911 about the fire. "The timeline of the rapid fire growth of the fire is defined by that series of events," said an official, who said there is no indication that the smoke alarm system did not work.

    The first firefighters to arrive found heavy smoke and fire, and called for backup.

     

    Officials said it's unknown at this point whether the victims tried to get out of the house.

    The bodies of Sandy Pyle and two of the couple's grandchildren were found together in a bedroom, sources said. The body of a third child was found in another bedroom, and the fourth child's body was found in a separate bedroom.

    Authorities are still working to determine the victims' causes of death.

    Alexis and Kaitlyn are the daughters of Randy and Stacey Boone, while Charlotte and Wesley are the children of Clint Boone and his ex-wife Eve Morrison. The children's fathers are the sons of Sandra Pyle and the stepsons of Don Pyle.

    The families said in a statement that they "are blessed that so many family, friends, and neighbors have come together for us in our time of need."

    The home did not have a sprinkler system. A fire official said sprinklers would likely have made a difference, but the home was built in 2005, before a law was passed requiring them.



    Photo Credit: Family photos
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    Loretta Lynch had no shortage of sister support as she fielded questions from a U.S. Senate committee in her bid to become the first black woman to serve as the nation's attorney general.

    At least ten members of her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, attended the top Brooklyn prosecutor's confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, according to a photo posted by Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty, another alumna.

    The "Deltas" in both Beatty's photo and another picture of the packed committee room posted by Rep. Alma Adams donned the African American Greek organization's signature colors of crimson and cream, as Time.com noted.

    Lynch, who was nominated by President Barack Obama to succeed current Attorney General Eric Holder, was reportedly a founding member of Delta Sigma Theta's chapter at Harvard University.

    Holder's wife was also a charter member, according to reports and the chapter website.



    Photo Credit: AP
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    Loretta Lynch.Loretta Lynch.

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    New Haven is lifting the parking ban as of midnight and schools will be open on Thursday, according to the mayor’s office.

    Mayor Toni Harp said in a statement that the so-called “downtown” parking ban was already rescinded this morning, but unrestricted parking throughout the city will be restored at midnight tonight.

    New Haven Public Schools will reopen districtwide for classes as usual on Thursday and anyone who parked in a school parking lot during the parking ban must move it so faculty and staff can park tomorrow.

    City officials will be documenting license plates of cars parked in school lots on Wednesday. If those cars are ticketed for 11th-hour parking ban violations on Wednesday evening, the documentation will exempt you from a penalty.

    The city’s Department of Public Works will also resume trash and recyclable collection on Thursday, but trash collection will be two days behind schedule.

    The New Haven Fire Department is also asking residents to help with clearing snow from around the fire hydrant closest to their house.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    A K-9 officer in Meriden was hospitalized and his police dog taken to the vet Wednesday morning after another vehicle ran a red light and cut off his patrol car, causing a crash near MidState Medical Center, according to police.

    Police said K-9 Officer Jason Degumbia was driving southbound on Lewis Avenue around 9:45 a.m. Wednesday when Goin Fabiola ran a red light while getting off Route 691 and trying to reach the entrance of MidState Medical Center.

    According to police, Fabiola's BMW "darted in front of" Degumbia and the two cars collided, ending up in snow banks outside the hospital entrance.

    Degumbia was hospitalized for treatment of a broken wrist, possible broken elbow and neck and back pain. His police dog, Kilo, was taken to the vet to be checked for injuries and was treated and released.

    Fabiola was taken to MidState Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries and was issued an infraction for failure to obey a control signal.

    The Meriden Police Department Accident Reconstruction Unit is investigating the collision.

    Anyone who witnessed the crash is urged to call the Meriden police Officer Donna Zurstadt at 203-630-6215 or Lt. Thomas Cossette at 203-630-6256.



    Photo Credit: myrecordjournal.com

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    Farmington police are searching for the woman who used a stolen credit card to buy $3,000 worth of merchandise from the Westfarms Mall on Jan. 14.

    Surveillance images show the suspect wearing a black coat, black, white and gray plaid scarf, a black hat and glasses.

    Anyone who recognizes the woman or has information on the incident is urged to call Farmington police Officer Glaude at 860-675-2400 or call the anonymous tip line at 860-675-2483.



    Photo Credit: Farmington Police Department

    Police are searching for the woman accused of using a stolen credit card to purchase $3,000 worth of items at Westfarms Mall.Police are searching for the woman accused of using a stolen credit card to purchase $3,000 worth of items at Westfarms Mall.

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    One person is dead and two others injured after a small plane crashed in Wisconsin Monday morning.

    Officials said an initial investigation indicated the plane was having problems and attempted to land eastbound on Center Road in the Town of Hoard in central Wisconsin when it crashed.

    Clark County Sheriff Gregory Herrick said the pilot said the plane started to ice up from the weather and began losing altitude. The pilot notified the Minneapolis Air Control Center of their emergency and their attempt to land on the road.

    While they were attempting to land, a wing caught a tree and caused the plane to hit a ditch and crash into several other trees, officials said.

    Officials said 56-year-old passenger Martin Siegwart, from Boone, Michigan, was killed in the crash.

    Herrick said the pilot, 27-year-old Mark Siegwart from Hammond, and his friend, 41-year-old Nathan Smoot from North Pole, Alaska, were flying a recently purchased plane back to Alaska from the Griffith Airport in Hammond, Indiana. The pair had stopped in Cadillac, Michigan to pick up Siegwart’s father, Martin, who planned to accompany them on the trip.

    Mark Siegwart and Smoot were taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield in stable condition. Smoot has since been released from the hospital, officials said.

    The accident is under investigation by the FAA and the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.



    Photo Credit: Clark County Sheriff's Office

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    Ellis Hutson buried his cat, Bart, after it was hit by a car. Hutson says he found the cat "cold and stiff," but five days later the cat came back. "It's a miracle. All I can think is, 'It's a miracle.' " said Hutson. "I can't explain it. The cat was buried. The cat was dead, and my neighbor brought it back to my house."

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    The mother of a Florida teen who was gunned down at a 2007 party said she was shocked when the suspect in the shooting was found shot to death in a car on the side of I-95.

    Trina Kancey said she's finally getting closure, although it's not the kind she wanted or expected.

    Kancey's son, 16-year-old Samuel Brown, was attending a graduation ceremony at the Polish American Club of Miami back in June 2007 when he was shot and killed along with another victim.

    "I will never forget that's a day that is embedded in me forever," Kancey said. "He was the peacemaker that night, the peacemaker who was killed. He was killed."

    Prosecutors identified Labron Brown as the gunman and he was arrested. But Labron Brown, who was just 15 at the time of the shooting was released after prosecutors dropped the charges following two years of court hearings.

    Just one witness out of the 300 people who were packed into the club came forward, but the witness later recanted their story.

    "My son's friend didn't even want to testify and that's hard as a mother," Kancey said. "My son stuck up for you and you wouldn't come to the court and give a deposition."

    Kancey said she kept an article of the day Brown was released.

    "I don't know why I kept it, I guess as a reminder that he was free and he got away with murder," she said.

    Brown was arrested again in 2012 in connection with the shooting death of a man during a robbery in Miami Gardens. But again the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office didn't have enough evidence to prosecute.

    "I was like, wow he killed somebody else, now they have him and I was shocked to learn he was out again," Kancey said.

    Flash forward to Saturday, when two men were found shot to death inside a car on I-95 near Northwest 54th Street in Miami-Dade. The driver of the car was Labron Brown.

    "I was just like, wow, another mother has to bury her son," Kancey said. "I wasn't rejoicing because he was killed because I know how it feels as a mother to lose a child."

    Messages left by NBC 6 for Labron Brown's mother weren't returned Tuesday.

    The shooting, which also left 23-year-old Kenneth McCoy dead, is under investigation.

    Kancey said she has prayed every day since her son was killed, but now her prayers are directed somewhere else, to Labron Brown's mother.

    "I pray for her that she gets through this and I know that was her only child and I hope he comforts her and he comforts me, that's my prayer for her," she said.


    Samuel BrownSamuel Brown

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    Police in West Hartford nabbed two people accused of breaking into a Glastonbury home and stealing passports and jewelry, among other items.

    West Hartford police said officers pulled over the suspects' car on New Britain Avenue in West Hartford around 5 p.m. Friday and noticed a bag of jewelry and drug paraphernalia inside.

    They searched the car and found what appeared to be stolen passports and jewelry. Police used the information from the passports to track the case back to Glastonbury, according to police.

    Glastonbury police took custody of the suspects and identified the two men as Anthony Pantano III, 24, and Gordon Clark Jr., 26, of Milford.

    Glastonbury police said the men stole thousands of dollars worth of personal property, including personal electronics, credit cards and jewelry. 

    Both were charged with first-degree burglary, first degree conspiracy to commit burglary, second-degree larceny, second degree conspiracy to commit larceny, possession of burglary tools, third degree criminal mischief, three counts of credit card theft and three counts of conspiracy to commit credit card theft.

    Bond was set at $375,000.

    Police said Pantano was also charged with four counts of parole violation and two counts of second-degree failure to appear. In addition to the burglary charges, he failed to appear in court for several motor vehicle charges, according to police.



    Photo Credit: Glastonbury Police

    Anthony Pantano III, left, and Gordon Clark, right, are accused of burglaries in Glastonbury.Anthony Pantano III, left, and Gordon Clark, right, are accused of burglaries in Glastonbury.

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    As the state continues to dig out after the Blizzard of 2015, the town of Enfield is implementing a "24 hour sidewalk clock," requiring residents to clear snow from their sidewalks by 5 p.m. Thursday or face a $75 fine.

    According to information posted to the town website, the clock starts at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Residents are responsible for shoveling sidewalks outside their homes and will be required to pay $75 and foot the bill for snow removal costs if they fail to do so. Enfield police are enforcing the fine.

    Outside contractors are being released at the end of the day after helping to clear 12 town roads Wednesday. The Department of Public Works expect to finish removing snow from Hartford Avenue, Bigelow Avenue, White Street, Union Street, Lafayette Street, Sanford Avenue and Carpet Street on Thursday.

    Trash and recycling collection will resume Thursday after a two-day snow delay and the town transfer station will reopen at 8 a.m. tomorrow.

    Anyone with questions can call the DPW snow and information line at 860-763-7527 or follow @EnfieldDPW on Twitter.



    Photo Credit: Enfield Department of Public Works

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    A Milford man wanted on forgery charges in Pennsylvania has been arrested, with help from the Milford police department.

    Milford police arrested said Stephen Injaychock, 33, of Milford was wanted by the Pennsylvania State Police and local police arrested him on Tuesday.

    He was charged with fugitive from justice. Bond was set at $100,000.
     


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    Police are investigating after a robber accosted the wife of a Yale University affiliate who was walking near the edge of campus Tuesday afternoon and stole her backpack, according to a message from the Yale University chief of police.

    Yale Police Chief Ronnell Higgins posted the advisory around 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, about an hour after the strong-arm robbery.

    Higgins said the woman was walking on Mansfield Street behind the Prospect Gardens Apartments when a strange men approached her and grabbed her backpack. He did not appear to have a weapon and no one was hurt.

    The suspect ran westbound on Starr Street, Higgins said.

    According to the Yale University Office of New Haven and State Affairs website, the Prospect Gardens apartment complex is located near the outskirts of campus and is owned by Yale University Properties.

    "It is important to remember to walk or jog with others when possible, in well populated and well lit areas," Higgins wrote. "Avoid displaying valuables such as cash or portable electronic devices."

    Higgins encouraged Yale community members to keep an eye out for emergency blue phones and call 203-432-9255 to take advantage of security shuttles and escorts.

    Anyone with information on the incident is urged to call Yale Police at 203-432-3300 or text an anonymous tip to 67283.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    The NFL will air its first public service announcement against domestic violence as part of its No More campaign during the Super Bowl on NBC on Sunday.

    A 30-second ad will air for $4.5 million, but the NFL has already released a chilling 60-second version. The ad is based on a real 911 call a domestic violence victim made in October.

    The unsettling video starts out showing a disheveled home, with an unmade bed, books thrown on the floor, a sink piled up with unwashed dishes and a fist-sized punch in the wall. A woman is speaking in a rushed tone with the 911 dispatcher, pretending that she is ordering a pizza.

    The dispatcher soon realizes the woman is unable to speak openly in her house because her abuser will hear. The final scene shows a framed picture of a woman torn from the wall and left by the trashcan.

    The screen fades to black, and a message appears in white: “When it’s hard to talk, It’s up to us to listen.”

    “The goal of the PSA is to activate and engage the vast audience of men and women across America in saying NO MORE to domestic violence and sexual assault,” No More director Virginia Witt told Today.com.

    The NFL has faced a number of high-profile domestic abuse allegations involving its players, most notably Ray Rice.

    That case inspired many women to speak out on social media using the hashtag #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft and restarted debates about the NFL's history of players accused of domestic abuse.

    “Public awareness is the first, essential step toward changing the culture into one where domestic violence and sexual assault no longer happen,” said Witt.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 28:  Footballs on the field before a NFL football game between the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys at FedExField on December 28, 2014 in Landover. Maryland.   (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 28: Footballs on the field before a NFL football game between the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys at FedExField on December 28, 2014 in Landover. Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

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    Opening statements are set for Thursday in the Aaron Hernandez murder trial following a two-day delay because of the blizzard.

    A full jury including 12 jurors and 6 alternates was seated Monday. Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh spent more than a week questioning potential jurors to weed out people who are biased, have a hardship, or have a valid reason to be excused. More than 1,000 people were originally called.

    Hernandez, 25, is charged with killing Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semiprofessional football player from Boston who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee. At the time of the killing on June 17, 2013, Hernandez had a $40 million contract with the Patriots.

    Prosecutors say Hernandez and two other men, Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace, picked Lloyd up at his home in Boston's Dorchester section and took him to an industrial park near Hernandez's home in North Attleborough, where he was shot to death.

    Prosecutors haven't said who pulled the trigger but said Hernandez orchestrated the killing. Ortiz and Wallace have pleaded not guilty to murder charges and will be tried separately.

    Nearly 300 people are on the prosecution's list of potential witnesses, including Patriots coach Bill Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft.

    Among the others listed as potential witnesses is Hernandez's fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins. Prosecutors have said Jenkins lied dozens of times to the grand jury investigating Lloyd's killing, including when she said she couldn't remember where she disposed of a large box from the basement of their home that Hernandez apparently told her to get rid of. She had been granted immunity before her grand jury testimony.

    The trial, expected to last six to 10 weeks, will not be the end of Hernandez's legal troubles. He faces separate murder charges in Boston, where he is accused of killing two men after one of them accidentally spilled a drink on him at a nightclub in 2012. That trial date has not yet been set.



    Photo Credit: FILE - Getty Images
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    Aaron Hernandez.Aaron Hernandez.

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    Bridgeport plow drivers headed home Wednesday afternoon after lending a hand more than 60 miles to New London, one of the Connecticut communities hit hardest by the Blizzard of 2015.

    The drivers of four large plows maneuvered their equipment along a snowy shoreline through whiteout conditions Tuesday evening. A public facilities foreman joined them on the trek to the state's southeast corner, which received nearly 2 feet of snow.

    New London crews were overwhelmed as gusty winds blew snow across freshly plowed streets, creating snow drifts up to 5 feet tall.

    Bridgeport trucks worked 15 hours straight to help the city dig out, according to a spokesperson for the Bridgeport mayor's office.

    “It was the right thing to do,” Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch said in a statement Wednesday. “New London had a moment of need. They really got clobbered and asked for assistance. We received much less snow and already were in cleanup mode here. We were happy to help.”

    Bridgeport crews described New London residents as "warm and appreciative," according to the mayor's office.

    "The would come outside and give us the thumbs up and [say], 'Thank you for coming and helping us out,'" plow driver Samuel Adams told Bridgeport city officials.
     


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    A man in his 60s was taken to the Bridgeport Burn Unit to be treated for third-degree burns after being pulled from a burning house in Lebanon on Wednesday morning, and it's not clear where another resident is, officials said.

    The two-story house at 644 Beaumont Highway was engulfed when firefighters responded, and a town department of public works crew had to come in and plow the driveway so firefighters could get inside, Fire Captain Alan Olenick, of the Lebanon Volunteer Fire Department, said.  

    The victim was transported to Windham Hospital, but then an ambulance brought the person to the burn unit at Bridgeport Hospital, officials said. He remains in critical condition as of 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to a spokesperson for the hospital.

    Olenick said firefighters were dispatched at 9:03 a.m. and crews found the victim inside, suffering from third-degree burns.

    Officials from Bridgeport Hospital said early indications are that the victim is in critical condition. His name

    It is not clear whether the person who is unaccounted for was in the home or not when fire broke out. Authorities are investigating.

    Fire crews from Willimantic, Columbia, South Windham and Yantic all responded and Windham fire officials said."

    The structure is a total loss," Olenick said.

    Route 289 is closed, according to officials.

     

     

     


     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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    One person suffered third-degree burns and was taken to Bridgeport Burn Unit after a fire in Lebanon, and another resident is unaccounted for.One person suffered third-degree burns and was taken to Bridgeport Burn Unit after a fire in Lebanon, and another resident is unaccounted for.

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    During the Blizzard of 2015, Colchester Fire Chief Walter Cox says his station was eerily quiet throughout the night while a statewide travel ban was in effect.

    "We didn't get one call the whole night," Cox said. "That's kind of unheard of. People really listened and heeded the warnings to stay off the roads."

    Emergency responders will do their best to address every call during major storms but said adverse conditions can take a toll on their ability to do their jobs.

    “Before the storm, we made sure all of trucks were fueled properly and we also put on tire chains because we knew we were going to get at least a foot of snow – I believe over two feet of snow – in this area here,” Cox said.

    Cox said it's important to remember that his crews face the same problems as everyone else when snow comes down.

    “We have to put on our gear and make sure we’re safe. We’re slipping and falling ourselves in the ice and the snow, so it becomes difficult to move any kinds of patients in the snow,” he said.

    Many emergency crews also have their own plows at the ready in case they're called to a rural road or one that hasn't been properly cleared.

    “We have a small service truck with a plow that we’ll use to access the driveway, and then we have small snow blowers and shovels to access the house and the patient out as quickly as possible," Cox said.

    Access to water lines is also crucial.

    Many town and cities across the state urge residents to help clear fire hydrants of snow and ice during winter weather events. Hydrants in Colchester are outfitted with poles and reflectors to ensure that trucks and engines can reach them no matter the weather.


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    A 12-year-old boy was struck by a Bobcat being driven by his 9-year-old brother in Massachusetts on Wednesday afternoon, according to police.

    According to Pepperell police, the boy was struck on North Street around 4 p.m., injuring his legs.

    He was first taken to Nashoba Valleny Medical Center, and was then taken by medical helicopter to a Massachusetts General Hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

    Authorities say that a preliminary investigation shows the boy's brother was using the Bobcat at the time when the boy slid on ice and fell into the path of the snow-removal equipment, which was backing up at the time of the accident.

    "He was coming back to play a game of cards and he never came, so I knew something was up," Pete Bouchard, a family member, said.

    Bouchard, who identified the 12-year-old boy as Carter, says the boys' father owns a landscaping and masonry business. He also said the child has two broken legs. Authorities say the children's grandfather and father were home at the time, and that four children live in the home with their parents.

    Pepperell police say the Bobcat is owned by the boy's family. Authorities also add that in order to legally operate the equipment, a person must have a driver's license and a hoisting license.

    "It's not an uncommon practice with this type of situation on private property, that's how kids learn how to drive these things, but 9 years old is awfully young," Pepperell Police Chief David Scott said.

    Police Chief Scott says the matter is under investigation with the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety.



    Photo Credit: necn

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