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Ohio Firefighters Rescue Girl Chained to Bed, Two Adults Charged


COSHOCTON, Ohio (AP) -- Firefighters rescued a 4-year-old girl chained to a bed while the second-floor apartment she was in burned, officials said.

Gerald L. Stewart, 33, and Ridgley A. Allington, 36, who also escaped Friday's fire, have been charged with child endangering, a sheriff's official said. Their relationship to the unidentified girl was not available.

Firefighters arrived at the house at 8:55 a.m. Friday, according to a release from the Coshocton Fire Department. Blaine Hughes, who saw smoke while driving by, said he already had tried to rescue the girl. He said he saw Stewart and Allington coming out of the house, which included a second-floor apartment.

``The guy kept saying, 'Get my girl out. Get my girl out.' I told him I'll do what I can,'' Hughes said. ``I got to the second floor and the fire came out, and I couldn't get any further.''

Firefighters rescued the child, who was chained to her bed, said Deputy Troy Bricker of the Coshocton County sheriff's office. She was taken to Coshocton County Memorial Hospital before being flown to Children's Hospital in Columbus, according to the fire department.

Her condition was not available.

Stewart and Allington were in fair condition Saturday at Ohio State University Medical Center, a spokesman said.

Bricker said both adults were charged with one count of child endangering, a second-degree felony.

Area Man Honored For Community Service


Courtesy of The Intelligencer - Wheeling News Register

GLEN DALE - The Marshall County community will gather Sunday at St. Jude Parish Park in this municipality to show its appreciation for more than 50 years of service to the county by Howard "Biggie" Byard.

The food, fun, music and fellowship will begin at 1 p.m. with the theme of the event following Byard's insistence that "it's not I, it's we."
"In all of the endevours I've been involved in, none of them could have been accomplished without the assistance of many, many volunteers," Byard said.

For 50 years, Byard has performed and organized benefits to help people in the community who have "fallen on hard times," whether it was from disaster, medical problems or other mishaps.

"I can't give enough thanks to the folks who have helped with these benefits," Byard continued. "The musical groups, the volunteer fire departments from Moundsville, Glen Dale and others. The Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and Eagles clubs that donated space for the events and especially my wife Nila and family, I give my special thanks."

Byard is a graduate of Moundsville High School and a veteran of the Naval service in World War II. He is a lifetime member of the Glen Dale United Methodist Church and help to organize the Saturday morning prayer breakfast with the St. Jude Catholic men and the Glen Dale United Methodist men. He is an active lifetime member of the Glen Dale Volunteer Fire Department and member of the Marshall County Fire Association.

He is former chair of the Marshall County March of Dimes and helped to organize the Mother's March Against Polio in Benwood, McMechen, Glen Dale, Moundsville and Cameron. He also organized the Marshall County Mayor's Association.

Finally, Byard has been named a honorary member of the Limestone Volunteer Fire Department for his help in raising more than $10,000 to assist that agency when its firehouse burned.

Wheeling Fire truck Crashes Into House While En Route To Call


The Intelligencer-Wheeling News Register


Courtesy of The Intelligencer - Wheeling News Register

WHEELING - Gene Ryan stood in the middle of Lind Street Sunday evening watching as a heavy-duty tow truck pulled a Wheeling Fire Department engine from the front of his house.

"Well, I'm going to need a new porch and a new garage door," Ryan said.

Ryan, who has lived in the two-story frame home for the past nine years, had replaced the porch two years ago.

Engine 2 was responding to a call of a tripped fire alarm in a building further up on Lind Street at the time of the incident, about 4 p.m. Sunday, Assistant Fire Chief Tom Wilson said.

The engine was traveling east on 14th Street and had to veer slightly to the left to enter Lind Street. But whether it was human error or mechanical malfunction that caused the driver to lose control of the engine, Wilson couldn't say. But suddenly, the truck bearing three firefighters struck the house and became lodged beneath the porch.

None of the yet-to-be-identified firefighters were injured. Ryan and his wife were not home at the time of the incident, Wilson said.

Two dogs and two cats that were in the residence were not injured, Ryan said.

Ryan and several family members were on their way to the Upper Ohio Valley Italian Festival and saw engine 2 heading up 14th Street. A short time later, they noticed a large group of people standing in front of his house.

"I came home and found this," he said.

It took more than four hours to free the engine from the house. Finally, just after 8 p.m, with a heavy duty tow truck from Fleet Service of South Wheeling pulling carefully, the porch creaked slightly as did crumbled metal from the fire engine. Work stopped briefly as pieces of Ryan's garage door were pulled from beneath the front bumper of the fire engine, where they had become lodged.

A few minutes later, the effort resumed and the engine was pulled free.

The roof of Ryan's porch was supported by a large beam but whether the residence was structurally sound hadn't been determined by late Sunday.

For a time, the engine, the driver's side of the windshield broken, its light bar gone, sat near the intersection of 14th, Wood, and Lind streets before it was removed from the scene.  

 Marshall 911 In Midst Of New Upgrades


MOUNDSVILLE- Marshall County 911 moves into the 21st century with a multi-phase technology upgrade plan.

Director of Communications Larry Newell said a new communications shed is currently being constructed next to the sheriff's department to provide a secure and environmentally controlled location for equipment in one workable area.
Newell said 911 has shared space within the sheriff's department for a number of years as a cost-effective measure. Maintaining equipment, however, has been a challenge because so much of it is spread throughout the building. He said the equipment has to run in a certain mid-range and combining it into one area, will save 911 technicians from having to run all over the building to check it.

Newell said other phases of the plan include new and upgraded equipment. For example, the Federal Communications Commission is requiring better radios and software that can capture cellular phone numbers and locate the caller's position through Global Positioning System.

Newell said he has noticed an increase in out-of-state motorists calling 911 via cellular phone recently to report break-downs or alert police of suspicious activity. Many of those callers do not know the area, or can not give clear directions to where they are. This new system will help responders get to these individuals when they need help.

Marshall County Administrator Betsy Frohnapfel said all of the construction for the shed is being done in-house by the building and grounds employees at the court house. Frohnapfel said the project is covered under the court house improvement budget and did not need to be put out for bid. The county, however, will put a project out for bid if it is too large or time consuming for the in-house employees to do effectively she said.

Bethesda Home Burns


Courtesy of The Intelligencer - Wheeling News Register

BETHESDA - A home on Second Street in Bethesda was severely damaged following a Friday blaze.

A fire that broke out about 2:30 p.m. Friday at 409 Second St., Bethesda, severely damaged the residential structure, leaving it likely uninhabitable for its residents, who were not at home at the time.

A quick response from area volunteer fire companies may have saved the structure from total destruction. Assistant Fire Chief Dave Green of the Bethesda Volunteer Fire Department, who commanded the scene and was among the first firefighters to arrive, said of the extent of damage, "It's not habitable."

"All the fire was contained on the second floor," Green said. There was "very extensive water and smoke damage downstairs."

Green said he arrived at the scene at about 2:30 p.m. and it took firefighters about an hour to knock down the flames and get the fire under control.

He noted that in addition to Bethesda, volunteer fire departments responded from Belmont, Barnesville and Morristown. He estimated about 26 firefighters from those departments were available to help put out the fire and save the structure from burning completely.

"Initially we needed manpower," Green said. "We got quite a bit.

"I'm impressed. That's good for a daytime call."

The cooperation of area fire departments under mutual aid agreements helped to bring out a substantial firefighting force, Green said.

"Getting mutual aid quickly is what saved the house," Green said.

The intensity of the fire when firefighters first arrived caused Green to order a pullback of his crew.

"There was too much fire. We backed out for defense."

Residents Paula and Baron Trigg and their two children, were not in the home when it caught fire, Green said.

Several neighbors said the fire company responded quickly after the fire started.

John Vaughn, who lives in the area and is a retired firefighter, said there was a quick response to the fire from area volunteer fire departments.

"They were very good," Vaughn said. "We had pretty good help in a reasonable time from all departments."

Vaughn, who assisted firefighters, said the family left the house about a half hour before the blaze was noticed.

Mike Edwards, who lives several doors down the street, was the first to spot smoke coming from the house. He said he was working in his back yard at the time.

"I saw a lot of smoke," Edwards said.

"My husband came running around the house and said something was on fire so I called 911," said Edwards' wife, Beth.

Edwards and his daughter-in-law, Stephanie Edwards, said they quickly went to the house and banged on the doors and windows to try to alert anyone inside the house to get out.

"Me and my father-in-law were the first to come up here and see if anyone was in the house," Stephanie said. "We were looking through the windows to make sure nobody was inside."