<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Breaking News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/breaking http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.comen-usThu, 25 May 2017 16:20:31 -0400Thu, 25 May 2017 16:20:31 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Deadly Medical Helicopter Crash Near Airport]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 16:06:40 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/215*120/New+Castle+Helicopter+Crash.JPG

A medical helicopter crashed in Delaware Thursday killing the only person on board, identified as a 37-year-old man from Franklinville, New Jersey.

The Eurocopter twin-engine helicopter went down shortly before noon off of Route 13 near Frenchtown Road short of the runway of the New Castle Airport, said Delaware River and Bay Authority, which manages the airport.

The helicopter was operated by Metro Aviation which provides services for PennStar, the medical helicopter service for University of Pennsylvania Health System, according to officials from Penn Medicine. It was training in inclement weather, to prepare for emergency situations.

The pilot, who was conducting a training flight, was the only person on board and died, police said. No injuries were reported on the ground.

Some choppers weren't flying on Thursday due to cloud cover that caused a low ceiling.

Black smoke could be seen pouring into the air off Quigley Boulevard near the post office facility. The wreck caused minor damage to buildings, police said.

The chopper wasn't headed to or from an emergency at the time it went down, authorities said.

The NTSB was en route to the crash scene Thursday afternoon.

The NTSB reports that there have been four helicopter crashes in Delaware over the last decade -- one fatal -- and none involved a Eurocopter.

Photo Credit: NBC10 Viewer]]>
<![CDATA[Boy Found Wandering Street]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 12:22:33 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Wilmington+Boy+Found.jpg

Police in Delaware reached out to the public to help find the parents of a child found wandering around Wilmington Thursday morning.

Luckily, the boy was reunited with his family before noon, police said.

Police found the boy – believed to be around 2 years old – in the area of 5th and Lombard streets around 9:10 a.m.

The child had wandered from his home, police said. No word on exactly how he got out.

"The Wilmington Police Department would like to thank the media and citizens for their assistance in quickly helping us locate the family," police said in a Nixle alert.

Photo Credit: Wilmington Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Philadelphia Police HQ Moving to Iconic Building: Report]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 13:48:58 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Philly_Police_HQ.jpg

Philadelphia Police headquarters are on the move.

The plan is to move out of the so-called "Roundhouse" at 750 Race Street to the former Philadelphia Inquirer Building at 400 N. Broad Street, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported:

"The Philadelphia Police Department will reportedly relocate its headquarters and several other related law enforcement agencies to 400 N. Broad St. and spur what is estimated to be a $200 million-plus redevelopment of the 500,000-square-foot building, according to PBJ sources."

The former home of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News is owned by developer Bart Blatstein and has sat vacant for several years.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross and other law enforcement leaders will join city leaders to officially announce the deal Wednesday afternoon.

Police headquarters moving to North Broad Street will help with the revitalization of the area that has included the renovation of the Divine Lorraine and other construction projects. 

SEPTA’s Broad Street Line subway along with various bus lines makes the new headquarters more accessible than the agency’s current home off Interstate 676 near Old City.

The decision to move north rather than west came after a long debate over a plan to locate to 46th and Market streets in West Philly.

The Philadelphia Business Journal is a newsgathering partner of NBC10.

Photo Credit: Getty Images; AP Images]]>
<![CDATA[Driver Strikes Pedestrian Along I-95]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 09:14:47 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/216*120/I95+Crash+Pedestrian+Bridge+street.JPG

A car struck a person walking along Interstate 95 Wednesday morning causing major traffic troubles for commuters on the busy highway.

The person was struck in the northbound lanes approaching the Bridge Street/Harbison Avenue Exit in Philadelphia's Bridesburg neighborhood around 8:20 a.m., Pennsylvania State Police said.

The victim’s condition wasn’t immediately released.

First responders blocked off three lanes of the roadway - only one got by - as police investigated.

Police do not know why the person was walking along the interstate.

Photo Credit: SkyForce10]]>
<![CDATA[Gunman Kills Man, Injures Man and Woman in East Germantown ]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 06:48:12 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/180*120/East+Germantown+Deadly+Shooting+_23718125.jpg

A gunman killed a man and injured a woman and another man in the East Germantown section of Philadelphia early Tuesday evening.

A 37-year-old man, 26-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman were both on the 5500 block of Heiskell Street at 5:21 p.m. when a gunman opened fire. The 37-year-old man was struck once in the chest, the 26-year-old man twice in the lower back and the woman once in the right leg.

All three victims were taken to the Einstein Medical Center. The 37-year-old man was pronounced dead at 6:12 p.m. The 26-year-old man and the woman are both in stable condition.

Investigators say at least two suspects wearing all black jumped into a black SUV and drove off after the shooting. No arrests have been made.

<![CDATA[May: UK Threat Level Raised to Critical]]> Tue, 23 May 2017 18:20:48 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/TheresaMay-149557577419400001.jpg

Prime Minister Theresa May announced the United Kingdom's threat level has been raised from severe to critical, its highest level, on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, a day after a suicide bombing in Manchester left 22 dead and 59 wounded.

<![CDATA[Woman on Fire Along City Street]]> Mon, 22 May 2017 17:18:51 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Woman+on+Fire+Chelten+Ave.JPG

Firefighters responded to a woman on fire on a Philadelphia street midday Monday.

She was spotted on East Chelten Avenue near Kenyon Street in the Germantown neighborhood around 12:20 p.m. It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the fire.

The woman was transported to Temple University Hospital with undisclosed injuries, fire dispatchers said.

Rayya Lioness, a witness, told NBC10 she and others helped put out the flames and stayed with the woman until police and firefighters arrived. Lioness said she didn't see any nearby structures that were on fire at the time and believes the woman either ran from an alley or a car. She also said she heard another witness mention the woman was set on fire though this has not been confirmed by police.

The stretch of Chelten Avenue where the incident occurred features a string of businesses.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Google Maps]]>
<![CDATA[9 People Injured, 2 in Critical Condition After Shooting: PD]]> Mon, 22 May 2017 00:27:11 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/212*120/IMG_02181.JPG

Nine people were shot in North Philadelphia in what turned into another bloody Saturday night.

Two victims are listed in critical condition and the remaining seven are stable, police said.

The shooting occurred around 10:30 p.m. on the 2300 block of W Huntingdon Street in North Philadelphia. Eight men and one woman were injured, ranging between the ages of 18 and 26 years old.

At least 27 shots were fired, police said.

Officials do not know what prompted the shooting. They believe the victims are related and live in the general vicinity where the incident occurred.

The victims were outside listening to music at the time of the shooting, police said.

Investigators are reviewing video surveillance and social media posts to decipher a timeline of events. Police are looking for suspects and trying to determine a motive.

Photo Credit: Courtesy: Matt Schaffer]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Denies Asking Comey to Close Flynn Probe]]> Thu, 18 May 2017 17:53:13 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/DIT+TRUMP+PRESSER+051817THUMB.jpg

President Donald Trump responded to questions about the Russia investigation at a news conference Thursday with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. Trump denied the allegation that he urged former FBI Director James Comey to back off his investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

<![CDATA[Amtrak Engineer Surrenders on Charges in Deadly Derailment]]> Thu, 18 May 2017 17:39:17 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/195*120/Amtrak+188+Brandon+Bostian+Handcuffs+Derailment.JPG

Update: A judge arraigned Brandon Bostian late Thursday night and released the Amtrak 188 engineer on bond ahead of future court hearings.

Brandon Bostian, the engineer operating Amtrak 188 when it derailed in Northeast Philadelphia two years ago killing eight passengers and injuring 200 others, surrendered to police Thursday on manslaughter charges.

Philadelphia Police handcuffed Bostian on the sidewalk as he arrived at Central Detectives in the city's Fairmount section around 10 a.m. The 33-year-old Somerville, Massachusetts, resident remained silent, looking straight ahead and his attorney offered "no comment at this point."

Bostian faces eight counts of involuntary manslaughter, one count of causing or risking a catastrophe and numerous counts of reckless endangerment. [[422975744, C]]

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro charged Bostian Friday, a mere seven hours before the statute of limitations was set to expire in the case, and following a legal challenge by the family of a woman killed in the derailment. 

Amtrak 188 was traveling 106 mph when it jumped the northbound tracks negotiating the curve at Frankford Junction on May 12, 2015. Several cars overturned and one was left crushed and contorted. The curve's speed limit was 50 mph.

Eight passengers were killed and 200 were injured. Bostian told investigators he couldn't remember the moments leading up to the crash. He suffered a blow to the head during the derailment.

[[303689771, C]]

The case was transferred to Shapiro's office on Thursday after Philadelphia Municipal Court President Judge Marsha Neifield ordered a private criminal complaint could move forward.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams previously declined to file charges against the engineer. After Williams' office denied charges, the family of Rachel Jacobs filed a private criminal complaint in Philadelphia Municipal court. A judge ruled Bostian should be charged and the case was referred to Shapiro's office.

"I commend our outstanding team in the Office of the Attorney General who worked diligently and thoughtfully around the clock to enable us to be in this position to pursue justice on behalf of the victims of this deadly crash," Shapiro said in a statement.

[[303541271, C]]

An intense federal investigation focused on what Bostian was doing in the moments leading up to the derailment.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board said Bostian accelerated to full-throttle as the New York-bound train traversed a straightaway through North Philadelphia.

The NTSB analyzed the engineer's cellphone to determine whether he was distracted by the device. They found it had been turned off before and during the incident. It was later ruled that radio chatter about a rock strike to a nearby SEPTA train's windshield stole Bostian's attention that night.

He lost track of where he was on the route; the realization that the curve was looming ahead in the darkness didn't come until seconds before the crash, investigators said. Bostian hit the brakes right before he felt the train tipping over.

[[303610281, C]]

"I remember holding onto the controls tightly and feeling like, okay well this is it, I'm going over," Bostian told investigators. He said he remembered speeding up and later hitting the emergency break, but nothing in between.

When the engine and the six cars in tow left the tracks near Wheatsheaf Lane around 9:15 p.m., passengers were tossed like dolls in the carriages. The first passenger car hit steel support beams suspending electrical wires. The beams sliced through the car, bending the coach into an unrecognizable shape. Some passengers were ejected from the train through broken emergency windows and were crushed.

Eight passengers died: Derrick Griffith, 42, a dean at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York; Rachel Jacobs, 39, the CEO of Philadelphia-based company ApprenNet and a mother of a toddler; Abid Gilani, 55, who worked for Wells Fargo; Justin Zemser, 20, a Naval Academy midshipman; Jim Gaines, 48, a father and Associated Press video software architect; Bob Gildersleeve, 45, a father and vice president of Ecolab; Laura Finamore, 47, a senior account director at Cushman & Wakefield; and Giuseppe Piras, 41, a wine and oil executive from Sardinia, Italy.

Two hundred other passengers were hurt with injuries ranging from paralysis to broken bones and scratches. Police, firefighters and nearby homeowners helped to carry the injured from the tracks to waiting ambulances and buses. Those who could walk were offered water and a place to sit inside stranger's homes.

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Amtrak agreed to a $265-million settlement with the injured and families of those killed. Bostian also filed suit against Amtrak in January, accusing the railroad of not providing him a safe working environment.

The railroad came under fire after the catastrophe for not having a speed control system on the rails. Called Positive Train Control, the system will automatically slow a train that is speeding. Amtrak later said the system was installed on the tracks, but not activated. It has since been deployed.

Bostian has not spoken publicly about the derailment in the two years since. The NTSB investigation said he was a train enthusiast who had good knowledge of the speeds and tracks he was operating on. [[422153753, C]]

Two trains operating on the same route were struck by flying rocks that night — a SEPTA Regional Rail train and an Amtrak Acela heading for Philadelphia's 30th Street Station. Passengers on the Acela shared pictures of a shattered window with NBC10 following the derailment.

Experts theorized that Amtrak 188's locomotive could have also been hit by a flying rock, the impact of which may have disoriented Bostian, but the engineer's memory loss and a lack of additional evidence left the hypothesis unproven.

Photo Credit: NBC10 - Pamela Osborne
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<![CDATA[Police Pursuit Ends on I-95, Backs Up Traffic]]> Wed, 17 May 2017 10:18:47 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/220*120/Police+Pursuit+I-95.JPG

A Delaware pursuit ended on a Pennsylvania highway Wednesday morning.

Delaware State Police confirmed they chased a suspect who fled on Interstate 95.

SkyForce10 captured footage of police surrounding a pickup truck on the side of the highway in Tinicum Township, Pennsylvania, near the Philadelphia International Airport.

The police investigation caused a backup on I-95 north.

No word yet on where the chase began.

Photo Credit: SkyForce10]]>
<![CDATA[2 Die as Plane From Philly Crashes in NJ ]]> Tue, 16 May 2017 06:29:13 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Teterboro-Plane-Crash-Lead-Photo.jpg

Two people died after a small plane that departed from Philadelphia International Airport crashed while attempting to land at Teterboro Airport on Monday afternoon, according to the FAA. 

The Learjet 35 twin-jet crashed while approaching Runway 1 at Teterboro Airport at 3:30 p.m. The aircraft went down near Kero Road, about 1/4 mile from the airport in a residential area in Carlstadt, New Jersey.

Officials say two crew members on the plane died from their injuries. They have not yet released their identities. There were no passengers on board.

The plane crashed near a Department of Public works building, according to Joe Orlando, a spokesman for the town of Carlstadt. He also said no one in that building was harmed inside however.

“Parts of the plane are laying in the garage, I can see the engines, part of the fuselage. There’s just melted cars all over the place in our yard,” he said.

Orlando also said explosions were going off, cars were burning and pieces of the plane were scattered in a township facility.

“Right now they’re trying to put the fires out on the building just next to us... we just keep having little explosions, it’s a crazy situation here,” Orlando said.

One witness said she was working at United Door when the plane came down right outside her office window.

"We were there working like every day and all of the suddenly we see the airplane coming down," she said. "It landed in the parking lot and then we heard the explosion."

Surveillance video shows the red plane right before impact. It appears to be nose-down and on its side as it hits.

A Carlstadt Police Dept. spokesman said the plane appeared to be listing to its side before the crash. Witnesses said the plane was flying upside down before it crashed into the parking lot.

Steve Case, an entrepreneur and co-founder of AOL, wrote in an Instagram post that the plane appeared to have missed a turn and crashed a few hundred yards from the airport. He was aboard another plane at the airport at the time.

The impact of the crash set three buildings, more than a dozen cars and a number of power lines ablaze, Carlstadt Police Chief Tom Berta said. Thick, black smoke was seen rising high above the crash site, and was visible as far away as New York City. Emergency responders reached the scene a short time later and were working to extinguish the blaze.

Firefighters from multiple departments responded to building fires at United Group, Manhattan Door Company and the Carlstadt Dept. of Public Works, Berta said. There were 13 vehicle fires.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. Meteorologists forecasted strong winds, including gusts up to 45 mph, for northern New Jersey at the time of the crash.

The plane's tail number is N452DA. It is registered to A&C Big Sky Aviation in Billings, Montana.

The last crash at or near Teterboro Airport was in 2005, and the last deadly crash was in Nov. 1985, according to the Aviation Safety Network, a well regarded database of international flight incidents. Multiple people died in the 1985 crash.

Photo Credit: Brian Thompson
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<![CDATA[Suspected Gunman Surrenders After 35 Hours]]> Fri, 12 May 2017 07:27:20 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Tyleeb+Reese+Surrenders+double.jpg

A tense police standoff in New Jersey's capital city ended peacefully just after 5 p.m. Thursday.

After nearly 35 hours, 35-year-old Tyleeb Reese walked out of the Trenton home where he had been holed up since Wednesday morning with his hands up and surrendered to police.

The standoff lasted nearly 35 hours as authorities negotiated with the suspected gunman who opened fire on U.S. Marshals serving a warrant, killing a bystander and injuring three officers.

Throughout the day Thursday, officers on a bullhorn could be heard pleading with 35-year-old Tyleeb Reese to leave the Trenton home.

A hostage negotiator used a bullhorn to try to compromise with Reese, promising that if he came out "with your hands up in the air...I give you my word that you will walk away from here."

The incident began around 6:20 a.m. Wednesday when the U.S. Marshals Service Joint Regional Fugitive Task Force attempted to serve a warrant at a home on Centre Street, Trenton Police Lt. Stephen Varn said. Police say Reese allegedly fired at the marshals from inside the home and they retreated. Several law enforcement agencies responded to the scene and surrounded the house.

[[422041543, C]]

A bystander, 56-year-old Robert Powell Jr., of Lamberton Street in Trenton, was shot and killed outside the home. 

Cellphone video obtained by NBC10 shows several armed officers braced against parked cars with their guns pointed at a nearby building. A bystander is then seen crawling on the ground to safety when several shots are fired. At least one bullet appears to have struck the man. Footage shows two officers drag the man's body to safety and then another gun shot is heard before the video ends.

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Police have not confirmed if the bystander who was killed is the man in the cellphone video. 

Three Mercer County Sheriff's officers were injured, police said. Officials said they were struck by projectiles and were taken to the hospital where they were all treated and released. 

[[421925283, C]]

Families in the area were evacuated from their homes while others received a reverse 911 call urging them to remain inside. Police say a 7-year-old boy was alone in a home across from the barricaded house. Officers were able to get him out safely and reunited with his mother. 

[[421930433, C]]

One resident told NBC10 she is a close friend of Reese, a father of two.

"We talked to him a few times on the phone," Tamara Reaves said. "I asked him just to come out."

Reaves said the suspect is well-known and liked in the community.

[[421949053, C]]

"It's almost a suicide attempt to me, and I love him very much," she said. "He wants somebody to take him out. He doesn't have the courage to kill himself. We want it to end in a good way, not the cops getting hurt or him getting hurt."

Photo Credit: NBC10
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<![CDATA[No Charges in Deadly Amtrak Derailment]]> Tue, 09 May 2017 19:40:43 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP772156120139.jpg

Nearly two years after a Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia leaving eight people dead and hundreds hurt, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office has decided not to press criminal charges.

On May 12, 2015 a speeding Northeast Regional train jumped a sharp curve in the city's Port Richmond neighborhood late that night.

The train broke apart after leaving the rails at more than 100 mph. Some cars overturned, others sliced through steel electrical structures and one was crushed like a aluminum can. Four of the passengers killed were ejected from the train.

Federal investigators said the train was traveling at twice the speed limit as it prepared to turn north toward New York City following a stop at 30th Street Station. [[303541271, C]]

"The evidence indicates that the derailment was caused by the engineer operating the train far in excess of the speed limit," a release from the DA's office said.

"However, we cannot conclude that the evidence rises to the high level necessary to charge the engineer or anyone else with a criminal offense," the statement continued. "We have no evidence that the engineer acted with criminal 'intent' or criminal 'knowledge' within the special meaning of those terms under Pennsylvania law for purposes of criminal charges. Nor do we believe there is sufficient evidence to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, criminal recklessness, which would be the only other basis for criminal liability."

Engineer Brandon Bostain lost his bearings after a rock hit the windshield of another train, the National Transportation Safety Board ruled. Bostain told investigators he didn't remember the derailment. [[398884311, C]]

DA Seth Williams' office said that Pennsylvania law that criminal recklessness as when someone "consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk."

They said they found no evidence of the engineer "consciously" disregarding laws.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Crash Causes Hydrant to Gush Water Onto Street]]> Tue, 09 May 2017 13:35:18 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/206*120/Bridesburg+Richmond+Street+Water+Main+Hydrant+Street.JPG

A crash caused a hydrant to gush water onto a Philadelphia street near an elementary school.

It was unclear what led to the crash that left the hydrant broken and gushing water onto Richmond Street near Jenks Street in Bridesburg around 7:45 a.m. Tuesday.

It caused part of the street to buckle, fire dispatch said.

As SkyForce10 hovered overhead you could see the water shooting up from the ground. Expect traffic trouble in the area as cars slowly got past the scene. [[421731383, C]]

A receptionist at nearby Bridesburg Elementary School said school would open on time at 8:30 despite the gushing water.

An hour after the crash, water continued to shoot into the air, the broken hydrant on the sidewalk.

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Photo Credit: NBC10 - Pamela Osborne]]>
<![CDATA[Police Charge 'Predator' in 4-Year-Old's Sex Assault]]> Mon, 08 May 2017 23:07:44 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Daniel+Santucci+4-Year-Old+Sex+Assault.jpg

A 23-year-old man accused of abducting and sexually assaulting a 4-year-old Delaware girl drove around searching for a victim, police said. After the incident, police said he jumped on a bus and left the state.

New Castle police announced attempted murder, kidnapping and sexual assault charges Monday afternoon against Daniel Santucci Jr., calling him a "predator." [[421639803, C]]

"I share the feeling of relief with the community and our officers now that this predator is off the street," New Castle County Police Chief Vaughn Bond Jr., who called the crime "heinous" and "despicable," said.

"Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to the victim and her family because their lives have been altered forever," Bond said.

Investigators said the 23-year-old suspect lured his 4-year-old victim while she played with friends along the 4800 block of Sugar Plum Court in the Plum Run neighborhood of Pike Creek on April 6 around 7 p.m.

The suspect forced the girl -- who he didn't know -- into his car then sped off, causing several children to scream and give chase. A woman heard the cries and called officials. [[421577893, C]]

"The person approached the little girl and he said he had something for her mommy," neighbor Megan Gardner told police. "She went to get it from him and he grabbed her."

A Good Samaritan found the young girl nearly two hours later in a wooded section of nearby Banning Park wearing little clothing. The Good Samaritan comforted the girl until police arrived.

The girl was taken to a local hospital where investigators discovered signs of sexual assault. She was treated and released.

[[421568753, C]]

Further investigation revealed that at one point  Santucci tried to kill the girl by throwing her into a large pond in Wilmington's Banning Park but the girl survived, according to police.

"I want to thank the victim for her bravery," Bond said.

Police were tipped off to Santucci, who had no previous contact with his victim, on April 11. He matched witness accounts. That same day, police found his black Honda Civic abandoned, still running in the middle of a Centerville road with the driver's door open.

The vehicle was consistent with the one used in the abduction, Bond said.

 On April 20, police arrested Santucci in Tampa, Florida on a probation violation. Investigators said he had boarded a Greyhound bus -- a violation of his parole in Delaware for an earlier burglary charge.

Santucci was sent back to Delaware on May 1. Further investigation revealed he had child pornography -- not related to this case -- on him, police said.

Santucci was housed in county jail unable to post more than $1 million bail. It was unclear if Santucci had an attorney who could comment on the case.

Prior to his most recent arrest, Santucci pleaded guilty in 2014 to possessing and distributing marijuana in Ocean City, Maryland. He was also convicted of burglary in Hockessin in May of 2012. Santucci was charged with kidnapping and assault in 2010 but those charges were later dropped.

Police said they continued to investigate to see if Santucci victimized any other children. Bond thanked various agencies including police in Tampa and U.S. Marshals for helping find Santucci.

Photo Credit: New Castle County Police
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<![CDATA[School Bus Heading to Pickup Knocks Out Power]]> Mon, 08 May 2017 11:24:19 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/201*120/Hammonton+School+Bus+Crash.JPG

A school bus crashed up onto a curb, knocking out power to a South Jersey middle school Monday morning 

The bus left the roadway along N. Liberty Street in Hammonton, New Jersey around 7 a.m. and struck a utility pole, according to a robocall from Hammonton Public Schools.

The bus driver and two adult aides on board at the time weren't seriously hurt, the Hammonton Public Schools Transportation Department said.

The bus was on its way to the first pickups of the day and had no children on board, said the transportation department.

AC Electric crews rushed to the scene to restore power. Hammonton Middle School operated on backup power Monday morning, the district said.

No word yet on what caused the wreck.

Photo Credit: SkyForce10]]>
<![CDATA[Arrest Made in Kidnapping, Sexual Assault of Girl ]]> Mon, 08 May 2017 13:52:50 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/RANDY+11PM+VO+-+22-39-46-11_23165294.jpg

UPDATE: Police charged Daniel Santucci Jr. with kidnapping and sexually assaulting the girl.

An arrest has been made in the abduction and sexual assault of a 4-year-old girl in Delaware. 

New Castle County Police will announce an arrest in the case during a news conference Monday at 1 p.m., according to NBC10's Tim Furlong. They have not yet revealed the identity of the suspect in custody.

The child was kidnapped while playing with friends in the Plum Run neighborhood of Pike Creek on April 6, witnesses said. Witnesses described her abductor as a white man with dark hair and driving a dark sedan with tinted windows. The incident occurred around 7 p.m. on the 4800 block of Sugar Plum Court. She was approached by the suspect and taken to his car. The two then sped off, causing several children to scream. A woman heard the cries and called officials.

"The person approached the little girl and he said he had something for her mommy," neighbor Megan Gardner told police. "She went to get it from him and he grabbed her."

Police found the young girl two hours later in a nearby park wearing little clothing. She was taken to a local hospital where investigators discovered signs of sexual assault. She was treated and released with non-life threatening injuries.

While the community remains on edge, residents say news of an arrest a month later gives them hope that the child and her family will have a chance at justice.

"Oh my gosh you feel it because you have your own kids," Maggie Gonzales, a resident, said. "And I wanted that person to be found."

Photo Credit: NBC10 Randy Gyllenhaal]]>
<![CDATA[Trooper Killed in Wawa Parking Lot; Suspect Barricaded]]> Thu, 27 Apr 2017 20:40:02 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/DEtroopershot1.JPG

UPDATE: The standoff with the suspect in Cpl. Stephen Ballard's shooting death ended Thursday morning with the suspect shot dead by police.

As friends and family mourned a Delaware State Trooper shot and killed in a Wawa parking lot, a suspect in the case opened fire overnight on police trying to end the standoff.

Officials identified the trooper as Cpl. Stephen J. Ballard, 32. Ballard was an 8-plus year veteran of the Delaware State Police assigned to Troop 2, Glasgow. He lived in Milford, Delaware but was originally from Bowie, Maryland, according to his Facebook page. He also got married earlier this year.

A police procession was held early Wednesday evening as Ballard's body was taken from Christiana Hospital to the Medical Examiner's Office in Wilmington, Delaware. Troopers carried a flag-draped coffin into the building.

[[420544743, C]]

Investigators said the ordeal began shortly after noon Wednesday when Ballard observed two people inside a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of the Wawa store at 1605 Pulaski Highway (US Route 40) in Bear, Delaware.

After Ballard approached the two men, a struggle ensued, according to officials. One of the two suspects then exited the vehicle and fired several shots, striking Ballard.

"I thought it was two kids struggling at first," Faith Allen, a witness, told NBC10. "And I heard, 'pop, pop, pop.' And I noticed it was a cop. And the guy just took two steps forward and, 'pop, pop.' Two more times."

Allen and three other witnesses ran to Ballard and tried to perform CPR on him. Allen said the trooper's gun was still in his holster as he was on the ground.

Ballard was taken to Christiana Hospital, where he died from his injuries.

"He shot him right in the head," Allen said. "I mean, it's sad. When you try to save somebody it's even worse when you find out they didn't make it."

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Responding police officers arrived at the scene and took one of the suspects into custody. Another suspect ran away on foot. Police say the fleeing suspect eventually arrived at a home on the 500 block of St. Michaels Drive in the Brick Mill Farm Development in Middletown, Delaware, about 15 miles away from the Wawa. A SWAT team and officers surrounded the home and a barricade situation was declared. The suspect refused to come out and even fired shots at police, investigators said.

"The suspect has been firing shots at the police officers from the residence that he lives in and is currently held up in the house," Delaware State Police Master Corporal Gary Fournier said. "Now we have members from allied agencies throughout the state of Delaware that are on scene. We've established a perimeter on the house. He is contained to the one house but continues not to surrender as we wish. We will be on scene until we get a peaceful resolution."

The Explosives Ordinance Disposal Unit (EOD) used an explosive at the front door of the home at 8:22 p.m. but officers did not enter the house.

The suspect remained barricaded inside as police continue to try and persuade him to surrender. He opened fire on officers, again, around 4 a.m. Thursday, police said.

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Some residents in the Brick Mill Farm community were evacuated while others weren't allowed to leave their homes. Brick Mill Elementary on Brick Mill Road was put on lockdown during the standoff. The lockdown for the school was later lifted but the lockdown for the homes is still in effect.

The Odessa Fire Company at 304 Main Street in Odessa, Delaware opened its facility to temporarily house any evacuated residents.

Two of the evacuated residents, Lori and Todd Capriotti, told NBC10 they live three houses down from the barricaded suspect. Lori Capriotti said she rarely saw her neighbors who live in the home and never noticed anything suspicious. 

"Maybe I've seen them twice," she said. "They're quiet. You don't see anybody leave the house, come in the house, nothing."

Delaware police warned for people to avoid the investigation areas and expect possible traffic impacts. Brick Mill Road is currently closed between Marl Pit Road and Middletown Odessa Road (SR2999). Motorists traveling on I-95 southbound approaching Exit 1A in New Castle County, Delaware can expect delays as well.

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Throughout the night, residents in the area dropped off candles and flowers at the Wawa in Bear, Delaware to pay tribute to Cpl. Ballard. Delaware Governor John Carney ordered all flags to be flown at half-staff in memory of the fallen trooper.

Delaware Senator Tom Carper also released a statement on Cpl. Ballard's death.

“My heart is in Delaware, and it breaks for the loved ones of the Delaware State Police trooper who will not return home this evening," Carper wrote. "Martha and I consider Delaware State troopers to be an extension of our family. We are sending our love and prayers to his friends, family and the Delaware State Police family. This unthinkable tragedy reminds us of the extraordinary courage and service of our men and women in law enforcement protecting our communities."
“My staff and I are closely monitoring this situation as it unfolds. I pray for the safety of our police officers and first responders on the scene.”

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A spokesperson for the Wawa store also released a statement.

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic situation that occurred in the parking lot of our Bear, Delaware store today," the spokesperson wrote. "Our hearts are broken and our thoughts and prayers are with the officer's family and the entire Delaware State Police community during this difficult time."
"Out of respect to the officer, our associates and all those affected, the store will remain closed until Saturday. We will continue to do everything we can to help."

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Editor's note: NBC10 initially erroneously reported the Wawa was in Newark rather than Bear, Delaware.

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<![CDATA[Ambulance Crashes, Blocks Busy NJ Intersection]]> Tue, 18 Apr 2017 11:13:26 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/204*120/Cherry+Hill+Ambulance+Crash+2.JPG Police blocked a busy South Jersey intersection as they cleared a crash involving an ambulance and an SUV Tuesday morning.

Photo Credit: SkyForce10]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Evacuates Center City High-Rise]]> Mon, 17 Apr 2017 14:55:49 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Adelphia+Building+Fire.jpg

A fire caused the evacuation of a Center City Philadelphia high-rise Monday.

Firefighters responded to a fire on the third floor of the Adelphia House at 13th and Chestnut streets -- a short walk from City Hall -- shortly before noon.

The fire appeared to be contained to the third floor -- some windows could be seen smashed out -- and no injuries were reported as firefighters said they quickly contained the blaze.

No word yet on what caused the blaze.

Residents remained out of the building more than an hour after the fire was first reported.

Photo Credit: Telemundo62 - Carolina Cardona]]>
<![CDATA[2 Die as SUV Slams Into Parked Big Rig on Roosevelt Blvd.]]> Fri, 14 Apr 2017 23:43:49 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/207*120/Roosevelt+Boulevard+Truck+SUV+Crash+2.JPG

A horrific crash that claimed two lives closed a stretch of the busy Roosevelt Boulevard Friday.

An SUV slammed into a tractor-trailer parked along the outer lanes of Route 1 northbound near D Street in the Feltonville section of the city before 8 a.m.

A 25-year-old woman and woman in her 40s who were riding in the SUV died at the scene -- their bodies under sheets on the asphalt -- and the male driver was taken to Einstein Medical Center where doctors listed him in stable condition, Philadelphia Police said.

As SkyForce10 hovered overhead you could see the tractor-trailer and a badly-damaged SUV -- crews tore it apart to rescue the victims -- blocking the roadway. Investigators said the big rig driver wasn't in he cab at the time.

The outer lanes of the Boulevard remained closed for hours as police investigated, finally reopening after 2 p.m.

The truck was legally parked along the roadway, accident investigators said.

Photo Credit: NBC10 - Aundrea Cline-Thomas]]>
<![CDATA[Legionnaires' Disease Bacteria Causes Chesco School Closure]]> Fri, 07 Apr 2017 06:54:18 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/212*120/Kennett+High+School+Map.JPG

The presence of the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' Disease caused a Chester County high school to close Friday.

Kennett Consolidated School District superintendent Barry Tomasetti posted a letter to the schools website explaining how school officials discovered the potentially deadly bacteria.

"We are notifying you that during routine testing of the hot water systems at Kennett High School, a positive test result for legionella bacteria was confirmed," Tomasetti said.

No injuries were reported and the school began taking actions to get rid of the bacteria.

"In response to this test result, we have consulted with the Chester County Health Department and contracted with an environmental remediation firm to eliminate the bacteria," Tomasetti said. "As a proactive measure, we have discontinued use of the boiler room spigot where the positive sample was taken and as an additional precaution shut down all showers.

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"According to the Health Department, the presence of the bacteria, which are commonly found in water, is no concern for alarm at this time. The Health Department officials stated that there are no confirmed reports of Legionnaires’ disease and the Health Department would not be issuing a public advisory at this time."

Legionnaires' disease is a lung infection named after a 1976 outbreak among people at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia. If contracted, legionella is rarely spread from person to person but rather by breathing in small droplets of water in the air that contain the bacteria, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Photo Credit: Google Earth]]>
<![CDATA[Police Pluck Body From Del. Retention Pond]]> Tue, 04 Apr 2017 12:13:40 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/210*120/Middletown+Pond+Body.JPG

Police in Delaware called the dive team and medical examiner after a grisly discovery in a drainage ditch near a shopping center.

Middletown, Delaware officers responded to Middletown-Warwick Road Tuesday morning to find a body in the water, investigators said. The New Castle County Dive Team plucked the body from the water and searched the rest of the pond.

The drainage ditch is not far from U.S. Route 301 and a Walmart on the other side of Merrimac Avenue. As SkyFocre10 hovered over the scene you could see police searching for clues.

Police continued to investigate how the unidentified person wound up in the water. They said there was no indication that any vehicle was involved.

Photo Credit: SkyForce10]]>
<![CDATA[Dad Faces Murder Charges in Baby Boy's Death]]> Wed, 29 Mar 2017 14:08:50 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Javine+Barratt+Baby+Death.jpg

Philadelphia Police charged a young father with killing his 3-month-old son. The boy died days after being found unresponsive in a North Philadelphia home.

Emergency responders found Javine Barratt unresponsive late on March 20 inside a bedroom of a home on the 2400 block of N 5th Street. Responding officers administered CPR as the boy was rushed to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in critical condition, police said.

The baby died at the hospital on March 23. The cause of death was ruled to be a homicide due to head trauma, investigators said.

On Wednesday, police announced murder and child endangerment charges against the boy’s father, 23-year-old Javine Barratt (same name as his son).

It was unclear if Barratt has an attorney who can comment on the case.

Photo Credit: Philadelphia Police]]>
<![CDATA[Caretaker Faces Charges in Philly Toddler's Death]]> Wed, 29 Mar 2017 07:39:17 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Jedayah+Nesmith+Akim+Feron+Jones+Death.jpg

A woman remained behind bars a week after a 2-year-old boy she cared for was found dead in a Philadelphia home.

Officers found Azim Jones-Fearon's naked and emaciated body on a bed inside a home on the 7100 block of N 15th Street Wednesday evening.

Medics pronounced Azim dead at the scene.

On Tuesday, police announced child endangerment, reckless endangerment and abuse of a corpse charges against Jedayah Nesmith -- the boy's 22-year-old caretaker. A judge arraigned Nesmith Friday and sent her to jail in lieu of $750,000 bail. Sources told NBC10 Nesmith is the girlfriend of the boy's mother.

A man who wished to remain anonymous told NBC10 he tipped police off about Nesmith. The man claims Nesmith offered him $1000 to dispose of the child's body.

"[She said]'You gotta get rid of something. It's the size of a loaf of bread.' I'm like, 'What you mean? It's a baby?' [She said] 'Yeah.' [I asked] 'Whose baby is it?' [She said] 'Don't worry about all that,'" the man said.

It was not known if anyone else could face charges in Azim's death. The boy was initially said to be 3 years old but later police revised his age to 2.

The cause of death was pending an autopsy Tuesday as homicide detectives continued their investigation.

Photo Credit: Philadelphia Police
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<![CDATA[Power Out on the Main Line]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 10:05:31 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/212*120/Snow+Power+Lines+Snow.JPG

A power outage left thousands of customers on the Main Line in the dark Monday morning.

PECO reported around 2,000 lost power in the area of Radnor, Wayne and Villanova after a wire came down around 8:20 a.m.

PECO didn't immediately know what caused the wire to fall but said it got people back online around 9:30 a.m. though the power company's website didn't immediately reflect the change.

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Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Destroys Philly Club]]> Wed, 15 Mar 2017 13:25:49 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/193*120/XO+Lounge+Fire+South+Street.JPG

Smoke billowed from a South Street nightclub early Wednesday morning.

It was a battle against fire and ice for Philadelphia firefighters who dealt with the smoky blaze XO Lounge and icy conditions along South Street.

SkyForce10 captured firefighters battling the blaze, which appeared to have started near the club's rear porch. The club was closed at the time the fire broke out around 6 a.m. It took firefighters about 45 minutes to bring the blaze under control, firefighters said.

No one was hurt. [[416203194, C]]

"It was very scary," said Laura Callahan who works across the street.

No word yet on what may have caused the blaze that destroyed the club that features outdoor rooftop seating and music. The blaze left the Loft Bar and Coco's chicken and Waffles, which share the building, badly damaged.

The neighboring World Communications Charter School closed for the day due to smoky conditions.

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Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Schools Close After Deadly Crash on Icy Delco Road]]> Wed, 15 Mar 2017 11:37:31 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/210*120/Chadds+Ford+Crash.JPG

A tow truck driver lost control while driving on snow and ice early Wednesday morning before slamming into a sport utility vehicle, killing the SUV driver, state police said.

The deadly crash closed Baltimore Pike (U.S. Route 1) near Creek Road around 5 a.m. It also caused area schools to close for the day as buses couldn't get around the hours' long road closure.

As SkyForce10 hovered overhead a short time later you could see a smashed up SUV off the roadway with a damaged flatbed tow truck nearby.

The driver of the SUV, Jeffrey Phillippe of Kennett Square, died in the wreck, Pennsylvania State Police said.

Phillippe's SUV was smashed when the tow truck driver lost control on the slippery roadway while traveling south on Route 1, police said. The tow truck crossed over the center line and smashed head on into Phillippe's SUV in the northbound lanes, investigators said.

The tow truck driver suffered undisclosed injuries, police said.

The Unionville-Chadds Ford School District was forced to close because of the impact on bus routes.

"With both Route 1 and the 926 bridge out -- our community is effectively cut in half," Superintendent Dr. John Sanville wrote in a message on the UCFSD website. "Under these circumstances bus runs could take hours. We feel it prudent to close schools today... I apologize for the timing and the inconvenience -- a very difficult situation."

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Photo Credit: SkyForce10]]>
<![CDATA[School Bus, Dump Truck Collide in Del.]]> Fri, 10 Mar 2017 18:33:11 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/215*120/D+Street+Wilmington+School+Bus+Crash.JPG

A school bus with children headed to a school for the deaf and a dump truck collided in Wilmington, Delaware Friday morning leaving multiple people in each vehicle hurt.

The bus and truck crashed at D and Heald streets around 7:50 a.m., Wilmington firefighters said.

The Christiana School District bus was bound for the Delaware School for the Deaf and came to rest against a pole, firefighters said.

The school bus driver, an aide and one minor student were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, firefighters said.

Firefighters extricated a passenger from the dump truck -- its windshield and front end smashed -- and transported her to the hospital.

"When I got to the dump truck I noticed they were bleeding, really bad, the lady was pinned underneath the dashboard," Witness Rodney Harmon said.

Harmon and others called 911 and emergency responders quickly arrived.

The dump truck driver suffered minor injuries, firefighters said.

The unharmed students would be released to parents, firefighters said.

No word official yet on what caused the wreck but a witness said it appeared the dump truck missed a stop light.

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Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Emailed Threat Leads to Evacuation of Delaware JCC]]> Wed, 08 Mar 2017 11:27:49 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/198*120/Wilmington+Siegel+JCC+Jewish+Center.JPG

For the third time in recent weeks, a threat caused the evacuation of a Wilmington, Delaware Jewish community center.

The Siegel JCC on Garden of Eden Road was evacuated early Wednesday due to an emailed bomb threat overnight, New Castle County Police said. [[415674473, C]]

Police responded to the center, which offers Jewish programming and serves as a gym facility for the community at large, and people were allowed back in by 9:30 a.m., said a person who answered the phone at the JCC Wednesday morning. Police later gave the all clear but said some officers could remain on the scene.

No injuries were reported.

This was at least the third time this year the Wilmington JCC was evacuated due to a threat as a wave of antisemitism targets Jewish organizations around America. Dozens of JCCs around the country were evacuated after a slew of threats in recent weeks. And, hundreds of headstones were also toppled at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia last month. [[413868343, C]]

Photo Credit: Google Earth
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<![CDATA[1500 Still Without Power After PECO Substation Fire]]> Thu, 09 Mar 2017 01:06:11 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/215*120/fuego+peco+7+mar.JPG

Around 1500 people are still without power more than a day after flames spread through a PECO substation in Philadelphia’s Nicetown-Tioga section.

Philadelphia High School for Girls on 1400 W. Olney Ave. and EW Rhodes Middle School on 2900 W. Clearfield Street were both closed Wednesday due to power outages. All after-school activities at both schools were canceled Wednesday as well. [[415639043, C]]

The outages were caused by a fire that started at the Westmoreland substation at 1:50 p.m. Tuesday on 2634 W. Westmoreland Street, officials said.

Firefighters and a hazmat unit responded to the scene. As SkyForce10 hovered overhead around 2:45 p.m. you could see flames and thick black smoke shooting into the air and white foam being used to contain the blaze. [[415656093, C]]

"I didn't know whether to stay outside or stay in my house because you could smell it in my house just as good as you could smell it across the street," said Mary Wilson who lives near the substation and suffers from asthma.

Officials say the fire was electrical. They used chemicals and fire suppression powder to contain it rather than water and were able to bring the flames under control around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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Flames spread through the substation but didn't go beyond the facility into the surrounding neighborhood. No injuries were reported and no one nearby was evacuated, firefighters said.

Around 36,000 customers were without power at the peak of the fire. The number was brought to about 1500 by 9 p.m. Wednesday. Temple University also reported portions of its hospital complex, campus and the Temple Towers residence hall were without power at one point.

Traffic lights at surrounding intersections throughout North Philadelphia were out due to the fire. Generators and stop signs were placed in impacted intersections from Broad to 33rd streets and in the Hunting Park section of the city. Police also assisted at the busier intersections.

PECO is working to re-route power for the impacted customers and hoped to have power restored for everyone at some point Thursday.

Officials have not yet revealed what started the blaze.

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<![CDATA[Missing Boy and Step-Grandfather Found Safe ]]> Tue, 07 Mar 2017 17:39:44 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Naair+Thomas+Thumb.jpg

A missing boy and his step-grandfather were both found safe Tuesday afternoon.

Naasir Thomas, 5, and his step-grandfather Stewart Gertman, 60, failed to return to their residence on Frankford Avenue near E Venago Street in Kensington Monday, police said.

Gertman routinely cares for Naasir and they were last seen together at their home around 10 a.m. Monday before being reported missing at 10 p.m. [[415584083, C]]

Investigators attempted to call Gertman’s cellphone but had no luck, police said.

Shortly after 4 p.m. police announced both the boy and his step-grandfather were found in good condition.

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Photo Credit: Photo released by Philadelphia Police
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<![CDATA[Fire Burns Through Northeast Philly Aquatic Center, 2 Hurt]]> Mon, 06 Mar 2017 20:11:59 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/CHOPPER+3+ALARM+FIRE+GRANT+AVENUE+NE+PHILA+-+11445606_22785501.jpg

A fire at a Northeast Philadelphia health center and indoor swim club that forced people wearing only their bathing suits out into the cold air and left two people suffering from smoke inhalation spread to four alarms Monday.

Flames broke out before 11:15 a.m. at the Aquatic Fitness Center and Aquahab Physical Therapy along Grant Avenue near Fordham Road in the city's Torresdale section.

The fire quickly spread to three alarms then four alarms as thick smoke poured into the sky from the building that sits at the rear of a long parking lot. As SkyForce10 hovered overhead you could see firefighters shooting water into the barn-like structure, which was badly damaged, that houses a large pool. [[415482113, C]]

Carol Hoffman was working out in the basement of the facility when fire alarms went off.

"By the time I got to the top of the steps, I could see people running out in bathing suits," Hoffmann told NBC10.

"When we got outside, there was no one, nobody knew what to do, it was awful," Hoffman, who has lost three family members to fire, said.

"People were pulling people out in wheelchairs, a lot ran out in their bathing suits," she said.

Witnesses say there were about a dozen people in the therapy area of the building, including employees, and 30 people in the basement working out at the time of the fire.

"Actually the woman who pulled the fire alarm started to yell for us, letting us know it was a real fire, not a drill," said Becky Hodson, an employee at the facility. "We do do drills. Luckily we practice and since she was the one that notified them so quickly we got the people out of the pool, just grabbed their stuff for them and ran outside with them."

Two people were hospitalized for smoke inhalation, firefighters said.

Embers from the fire spread to nearby lawns, causing small fires at neighboring properties.

"The heat was so intense so we all moved back," said Mike Wallace, a witness.

Wallace told NBC10 he saw contractors using a blow torch on the facility's roof shortly before the fire began.

"Those flames can shoot ten, 12 feet so if you're not really careful, they probably were professionals, but you know accidents happen," Wallace said.

Firefighters could be seen battling the flames from neighboring streets, stretching hoses for blocks to neighboring hydrants. In total it took more than 50 apparatus and 150 firefighters to contain the blaze, the Philadelphia Fire Department said.

Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel sent in heavy rescue and special ops teams to make sure no one was trapped inside.

"They went in and they were able to search that area," Thiel said. "So we believe now that the building is clear but again it's going to be a little while before we can say that 100 percent."

The Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management asked people to avoid the area near the fitness center as crews worked to contain the situation. Philadelphia Police also warned of the closure of Grant Avenue.

AFC Fitness: Northeast Philadelphia offers classes, an indoor Olympic-size swimming pool and other health club amenities, according to its website. The large facility -- AFC claims it houses the largest pool in Philadelphia -- sits next to John F. Byrne Golf Club.

Matt Littman, the president and CEO of AFC Fitness, released the following statement on the fire:

“We’re extremely fortunate that our staff and members were able to swiftly and safely evacuate during the fire at our Northeast Philadelphia location on Grant Avenue this morning. The damage to the facility was severe and the Grant Avenue location will remain closed until further notice. Our team is working to accommodate displaced members and we’re encouraging them to utilize our other locations in Feasterville, Jenkintown and Bala Cynwyd.

We’re also working to assess the damage and determine our path forward, but can confirm at this time that we’re committed to rebuilding our Northeast Philadelphia location. We truly appreciate the understanding and support of our members and the community during this difficult time.”

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<![CDATA[2 Adults, 1 Child Hurt in House Fire]]> Fri, 03 Mar 2017 14:11:28 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/186*120/E+Street+Fire+Philadelphia.JPG

A house fire left two adults and a child hurt in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood Friday.

Flames broke out in the home on E Street, near E Ontario Street, around 11:30 a.m.

As SkyForce10 hovered overhead a short time later, medics could be seen treating a person and loading him or her into a waiting ambulance. Another adult and a child also suffered injuries, said Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel.

No word yet on the extent of injuries.

Photo Credit: SkyForce10]]>
<![CDATA[Raging Inferno Guts Homes, Vacant Hotel in New Jersey]]> Fri, 03 Mar 2017 20:16:38 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/jersey+shore+fire.jpg

A raging fire engulfed more than a half-dozen buildings along the Jersey Shore as dawn broke Friday, completely destroying at least four homes and a vacant hotel, officials said. 

Firefighters from Asbury Park, Neptune Township and Ocean Grove descended on Lake and Seaview avenues in Ocean Grove after getting a call about the blaze shortly after 5 a.m. Smoke shot up into the sky and over the ocean several blocks away as fire crews raced to the scene. 

The fire was so intense shortly after 6 a.m. that it had spread to an adjoining condominium complex, Chopper 4 video shows. By 8 a.m., the smoke had turned white as firefighters made progress on the blaze. Chopper 4 showed the charred remants of the engulfed buildings; hotspots were still visible. 

Officials said five buildings were totally decimated by the blaze, including the Warrington, the shuttered hotel where the blaze may have started, three single-family homes and one multi-family home. The LaPierre and Marlboro condo complexes were damaged. Authorities say squatters have been a concern at the Warrington, which is slated for demolition. They planned to search the premises for evidence of squatters once it was safe to do so.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries; one was treated at the scene for a hand injury and the other was taken to a hospital with chest pains, authorities said. It wasn't clear how many people were displaced by the fire. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York
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<![CDATA[Threats Cause Evacuations of Pa., NJ & Del. JCCs]]> Tue, 28 Feb 2017 15:33:17 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Katz+JCC+Wilmington+JCC+Splits+threats.jpg

Three Philadelphia area Jewish Community Centers were evacuated Monday morning due to threats that targeted more than one dozen JCCs around the country.

Cherry Hill Police investigated after the Katz JCC on Springdale Road was evacuated around 10:40 a.m. The JCC said the building was safely cleared and police said they reopened to building -- after a full sweep -- around 12:30 p.m. [[414872683, C]]

The Cherry Hill incident played out after the Siegel JCC on Garden of Eden Road in Wilmington, Delaware was evacuated around 9:50 a.m., New Castle County Police said. After nearly two hours, the all was given and people returned to the Wilmington JCC.

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., was at the JCC when the threat came in.

"Today, I met with leadership of the Jewish Federation of Delaware and Jewish Community Services at the Siegel JCC in Wilmington to talk about threats and violence toward the Jewish community here and around the nation," Carper said. "The community center was among many around the country that has received multiple bomb threats in the past several months that have put the entire community on edge, and today, while we were talking about this very subject there, another bomb threat was called in. It is heartbreaking for such a flash of fear to overtake a place of strong community and joy that brings together people of all ages under one roof -- from the babies in the day care center to the senior citizens taking part in exercise classes. These acts must end."

The threats didn't end as one also hit Jewish people on the Main Line. The Robert J. Wilf Preschool kindergarten at Kaiserman JCC on Haverford Avenue in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania received a phoned threat Monday morning, administration said.

Police officers and least one K-9 could also be seen responding to the Kaiserman JCC shortly before noon while kindergartners were held in a nearby Friends school. Police eventually gave the all clear and the JCC returned to normal operations, administration said.

No one was hurt in any Philly-area incident.

The Harrisburg and York JCCs in Pennsylvania were also evacuated Monday morning. The JCC Association, which represents JCCs, day schools and other Jewish organizations said they were aware of bomb threats at various locations. [[414875873, C]]

The JCCs offer Jewish programming and often serve as gym facilities for the community at large.

These incidents are just the latest in a slew of antisemitic incidents around the country. Dozens of JCCs around the country were evacuated after a slew of threats in recent weeks. And, hundreds of headstones were also toppled at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia over the weekend.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf responded to the acts against the Jewish community.

"Any antisemitic act or act of intimidation aimed at Jewish institutions and people in Pennsylvania is truly reprehensible and we must find those responsible and hold them accountable," Wolf said. "This is not who we are as Americans or Pennsylvanians. We will not take these threats and acts lightly and I have asked the Pennsylvania State Police and Office of Homeland Security to offer their full resources towards protecting these institutions and finding those responsible."

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Photo Credit: SkyForce10
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<![CDATA[SEPTA Resumes Broad Street Service After Deadly Incident]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:50:17 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Tasker+Morris+Subway+Station+Police+Tape.jpg

SEPTA shuttled passengers along its Broad Street Line in South Philadelphia during the busy Wednesday morning commute as police investigated a suspected suicide.

A large emergency responder presence could be seen at the Tasker-Morris Station around 7:10 a.m.

A person being struck at the Tasker-Morris Station caused SEPTA to suspend service in both directions from Walnut-Locust to AT&T Stations, SEPTA spokeswoman Heather Redfern said. [[414466533, C]]

SEPTA shuttled passengers between the stations as police investigated and told passengers to expect delays and overcrowding. The agency also warned bus passengers that there could be gaps in service on routes due to buses being rerouted to shuttle BSL passengers.

By 10:15, police continued to investigate as SEPTA resumed service to all stations except Tasker-Morris. The Tasker-Morris Station reopened around 10:45 a.m.

The death appeared to be a suicide, Philadelphia Police said.

SUICIDE PREVENTION HELP: The National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255) is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Photo Credit: NBC10 - Jon Rodriguez
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