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Mother throws kids from 8th floor to save them from fire; one dies,Dubai

SHARJAH — APRIL 10: A three-year-old boy died and his four-year-old brother suffered critical injuries when their mother threw them in the street from the balcony of an eighth-floor apartment in Sharjah yesterday in a desperate attempt to save their lives from fire.

It was a desperate act by the 30-year-old Pakistani mother as her flat had caught fire and she could think of no other way of saving her children’s lives, police said. The woman has herself sustained major burn injuries and is fighting for her life in the Kuwaiti Hospital in Sharjah, where her elder son is also admitted in a critical condition.

The woman’s husband, 40-year-old Faisal Ahmed, is also admitted in the same hospital. He was not there in the flat at the time of the incident but he later collapsed on hearing of the tragedy that had struck his family.

The fire had apparently broken out due to short circuit in the kitchen of the eighth floor apartment in the building located in Al Majarra area in Rolla, Sharjah, at around 4.30pm yesterday. The fire spread very fast in the one-bedroom apartment, forcing the mother and children to rush into the balcony.

Eyewitnesses said the woman was holding her two children tight and screaming for help. People in the vicinity of the building suggested she throw her two children down and they would place some mattresses and blankets on the ground to save the children from injuries. Unfortunately, the children fell on the ground, missing the mattresses. While the younger boy, Iji, died on the spot, the elder one, Iftikhar, suffered severe bleeding and head injuries, and is in a state of coma according to hospital sources.

The condition of the woman is stable, hospital sources added.

Civil Defence officials had to break open the door of the flat, which was locked from inside, to put out the fire.

A neighbour of the Pakistani family said they had been residing in the building for over two years. The two boys were very cheerful and well behaved. The neighbours are shocked by the tragedy.

Soon after the incident, electricity supply to the building was disconnected to avert any untoward incident.


Man Hospitalized After Osceola County Hotel Fire

April 9, 2007

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. -- A man is in the hospital after getting burned in a hotel fire.

Guests at the Desert Inn on South Keenonville Road were evacuated Monday morning, but by the time Osceola County firefighters got to the scene, the fire had been put out by employees with a garden hose.

The man who was burned was the only guest injured. He suffered smoke inhalation and first- and second-degree burns on two to three percent of his body.

The victim was flown to the hospital.


Woodridge hotel goes up in flames

Woodridge – Fire of unknown origin destroyed the main building and five bungalows at the Lake House Hotel on Lake House Road in Woodridge early Tuesday morning.

The three-story structure at the religious camp with about 100 guest rooms, a dining room and kitchen were destroyed, said Mountaindale Fire Chief J.J. Polowin. A couple of other bungalows were saved.

The cause of the three-alarm fire, which broke out before 6 a.m. Tuesday, is under investigation. Polowin said the building had been renovated a couple of years ago.

Crews from Fallsburg, Loch Sheldrake, Woodbourne, Wurtsboro, Ellenville, Rock Hill, Monticello, Woodridge, Mountaindale and Liberty fought the blaze for hours.

At about 5:30 p.m., firefighters were called back to the scene when the fire rekindled.


Lake House Hotel destroyed by fire
April 11, 2007
Woodridge — Around 5:30 yesterday morning, handyman Jerry Gabrynowicz heard a crackling noise, what he thought was wood snapping.

Stepping outside, he saw flames blasting apart the windows of the 50-room former Lake House Hotel near Woodridge, where he is the caretaker for the religious summer camp.

By 6 a.m., fireballs shot 60 feet in the air through the roof.

The heat melted the glass down to crystal globs. The fire burned the building to the concrete slab. The fire destroyed a lobby, dining room, kitchen and offices on the bottom floor of the camp building; and bedrooms on the upper two floors. The flames jumped several yards, burning down three bungalows. Gabrynowicz and another maintenance worker were sleeping in a nearby mobile home, the only ones on the property. Gabrynowicz called 911. No one was injured in the fire.

The cause of the fire likely will never be known.

"It was too far gone by the time anybody got to it," said Rusty Brown, first assistant chief for the Woodridge Fire Department.

Only a portion of the spine-like, steel foundation that once held up the roof was left standing. The interior of the building looked like the inside of a barbecue pit. Copper pipes and the metal remains of tables and chairs lay in the heaps of charred wood, resembling charcoal.

"I live a half-mile away, and I could see the flames," Brown said. "When I came out of the front door, I could see flames. Not smoke, flames."

On Monday, Gabrynowicz said, he left some tools in the building; he was preparing to run PVC pipes. This winter, the camp building was robbed of much its copper piping.

He said he mentally retraced his steps. He couldn't think of anything that he did to start the fire accidentally. The electricity was not turned on. The lights were temporarily being run by a generator.

"That is a mystery," he said. "I don't smoke. The generator was shut down after 4. It is fishy, very fishy."

Several tanker trucks were called to the remote area to control the blaze.

Eventually, the fire departments were able to tap a pond about a quarter-mile away. Woodridge, Mountaindale, Woodbourne, Ellenville, Loch Sheldrake, Monticello and Rock Hill departments fought the fire. Liberty also stood by.

Firefighters saved five bungalows and a second, large building with about 30 rooms. That building was connected to the destroyed main building by a short breezeway.

The camp is owned by Brooklyn's Machne Ohel Moshe D'Krasna.

Members of that group were not answering telephones in observance of the final day of Passover. One member had to be called out of the synagogue in Brooklyn where he was worshipping and told of the fire.

It was a 'nice' classic Catskill resort
The Lake House was among scores of small, family-run hotels that were part of Sullivan County's landscape in the 1940s and '50s. It had a big dining room with hardwood floors and served lots of borscht and sour cream. Guests walked across the street to a cow barn to get raw milk.

"The Lower East Side in New York would come up and entertain," said Nat Kagan, who delivered kosher meat to the hotel. "People used to walk around and play the guitar, and people used to give them money, on the lawn. In its heyday, it was a nice hotel."


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