Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: Apartment Block Fire in the Bronx Kills 12, Including Four Children

EDM Friday Briefing: Apartment Block Fire in the Bronx Kills 12, Including Four Children

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for December 29, 2017: A New York City apartment block fire kills 12; a terrorist attack in Cairo, Egypt, leaves nine dead, including police; a new North Carolina law sets limits on opioid prescriptions; officials identify the victims of a quadruple homicide in upstate New York; a deadly rooftop restaurant fire in Mumbai, India, kills 15; two Romanians are arrested for hacking Washington, DC surveillance cameras; the National Guard withdraws its assistance as wildfires wind down in California; and another winter blast of snow and frigid temperatures are heading for the Northeast.

1. A fire that broke out in an apartment building in the Bronx in New York City killed 12 people, including four children, and critically injured at least four others. The blaze broke out at around 7:00 p.m. on Thursday night, and more than 160 firefighters responded to the alarm. It is the city's deadliest fire in at least 25 years, and investigators are still trying to determine what caused the blaze that killed the four men, four women, and children, aged one, two, and seven, and an unidentified boy.

2. In Cairo, Egypt, an early morning terrorist attack at a church has left nine people dead, including two police officers, and wounded at least another 10 individuals. Reports indicate that a man in a car opened fire on the church with an automatic weapon, striking people outside the church. Officials stated that the police officers were killed when they confronted the terrorist in an exchange of gunfire that prevented him from entering the church.

3. A new law in North Carolina is poised to limit the number of opioid pills patients can get at one time. It sets limits on the number of pills a doctor can prescribe for pain on the patient's first visit and the limits applied are based on why the pills are being prescribed, such as acute pain from a broken bone or a car accident. The bill takes effect on New Year's Day and the state's top health officials hope it will reduce the number of daily drug overdoses from opioids, which account for half the daily total of overdoses.

4. The victims of a quadruple homicide in an upstate Troy, New York house have been identified by authorities. Police were called to the home by the property manager on Tuesday afternoon when he was asked to do a wellness check on the family. The bodies found in the basement apartment were two women, aged 36 and 22, and two children, aged 5 and 11. Police believe the family was targeted.

5. A rooftop restaurant fire in a popular nightlife destination in Mumbai, India's financial district killed at least 15 people early Friday morning. The blaze began around 1:00 a.m. and the rooftop restaurant quickly became engulfed in flames that spread rapidly through the four-story building, as eight fire engines battled the blaze for over five hours. At least 50 other people were injured and taken to the hospital, 12 of whom were not seriously hurt.

6. Two Romanians were arrested in Bucharest and have been charged by the Justice Department for allegedly hacking into surveillance cameras used by Washington, D.C. police prior to President Trump's inauguration. Documents unsealed in federal court on Tuesday revealed that the Secret Service became aware that at least 123 computers had been hacked into about eight days before the inauguration. The two individuals also face charges of using the computers to send at least 179,000 phishing emails to spread ransomware.

7. As the worst wildfire in California history winds down, the National Guard has withdrawn nearly all of its assistance to civil authorities that were deployed to help contain the wildfires. Nearly 1,700 troops were dispatched to assist firefighting efforts when several wildfires broke out on December 4 across Southern California. Assistance also came in the form of fire retardant-dropping aircraft and two MQ-9 Reaper drones that were used for surveillance and infrared detection of hot spots.

8. Residents of the Northeast are bracing for a fresh coat of light snow by New Year's Eve as a system that brought feet of snow to Montana races across the country. The storm will bring about 1-2 inches of snow -- enough to coat roads -- but the frigid air following the storm will make for slick driving conditions because ice-melt is less effective in colder temperatures. Officials are cautioning motorists to allow for extra time when driving and warning that deicing operations may also delay air travel in some areas.

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Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.