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Nation in brief: Fire at club burns homes, businesses

Tue., Jan. 22, 2008

A huge blaze started in an empty downtown nightclub early Monday and spread quickly through 16 buildings, destroying homes and businesses and forcing residents to flee in their pajamas into the bitter night.

One person suffered minor injuries.

An ambulance crew on an unrelated call spotted the fire about 2:30 a.m., state Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said. The fire started in a nightclub that was being renovated and spread quickly on a stiff wind through the block that included early 1900s wood-framed buildings. Three of the buildings were being rehabilitated by Habitat for Humanity.

The club had no walls, and that “gave the fire an opportunity to take hold very quickly,” Coan said.

Fire officials in Lawrence, about 30 miles north of Boston, said the cause was suspicious.


Mother charged with killing baby

A woman who said she placed her 2-week-old twins in a bathtub and watched them struggle in the water was charged Monday with homicide after one boy died, according to a criminal complaint.

Alisa Lorraine Evans, 38, who was upset about the recent shooting death of her adult son in Texas, also was charged with the attempted homicide of the other twin, who was expected to survive, records said.

Evans admitted to filling her tub halfway, then putting the fraternal twins in on their backs and took them out when they stopped moving.

“She did not attempt to remove them until they became lifeless,” the complaint said.

Evans, who was a licensed vocational nurse, told police that she wanted a permanent solution to her problems and “only wanted the children to go to heaven.”

She was charged with first- degree intentional homicide and first-degree attempted intentional homicide in Milwaukee County.


TV station studios destroyed by fire

Fire destroyed the studios of two television stations in a shared building, blocking local broadcasts, officials said Monday.

The fire broke out Sunday morning in the studios of KREX-TV and KFQX-TV. Five people inside escaped safely, but the building was a total loss. Damage was put at about $6 million.

City fire investigators were still looking into the cause. The building, which was several decades old, did not have a sprinkler system, fire department spokesman Mike Page said.

Investigators could not enter the building during the night because of flare-ups and the danger that the structure would collapse, Page said.

KREX general manager Ron Tillery said it was the first television station in western Colorado.


Gas clerk accused of filling up family

A gas station clerk is accused of defrauding her boss of nearly $50,000 by selling fuel to her family and friends for a tenth of a penny a gallon.

Police arrested 25-year-old Madeline Jordan on Sunday – along with her mother, brother, a cousin and two others – after setting up a sting at the BP station in South Charleston.

The station’s owner told police last week he had noticed a significant drop in his income and found receipts that listed the deeply discounted rate.

Police alleged that for several months Jordan, of Nitro, had reset the price at the pumps every Sunday morning and allowed people she knew to fill up.


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