Monday, May 21, Eyewitness News at 11

4:14 PM, May 21, 2012   |    comments
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GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M FRANK MALLOY..
AND I'M LEAH JOHNSON..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.

GREASE FIRES CAN EXPLODE OUT OF CONTROL QUICKLY.
IT CAN GO FROM A LITTLE SMOKING OIL ONE MINUTE... TO A FULLY INVOLVED BLAZE THE NEXT.... IF YOU DON'T HANDLE THINGS PROPERLY.
BUT AS OUR GANNETT SISTER STATION K-A-R-E LEARNED... A DEVICE YOU CAN ORDER FOR *YOUR* KITCHEN... CAN HELP EXTINGUISH THE FLAMES.
BOYD HUPPERT PUTS IT TO THE TEST.
Wille Mae was, she was something else.
Wille Mae Coleman is the face of what can happen....
<00:05:53.22 match nat malat cam>
... when a fire starts...
<parallel park. "poof" fire starting nats>
in a kitchen.
<01:54:27.28 cam 4 fire erupts>
<01:17:46.25> she had been burned over 70 percent of her body.
Don Coleman lost his mother last summer at the age of 75, from burns she received in her St. Paul apartment -- while standing at the stove, frying chicken.
He was with her at Regions Hospital when she died.
<01:18:05.07> I remember what she smelt like, I remember what she looked like and that's no vision that any child wants to remember of their parents.
<fire truck leaving station>
Kitchen fires happen every day in Minnesota. Cooking is the leading cause of the state's residential fires -- more than heating, candles, smoking and arson - combined.
With that statistic in mind we enlisted the help of the volunteer fire departments in Green Isle and Arlington, borrowed a house slated for demolition, and sought the expertise of one of Minnesota's most respected fire investigators:
<00:41:17.09> We're putting a cup of oil in here.
Jamie Novak of the St. Paul Fire Department.
<00:18:14.10> I've seen it morning, I've seen it late night after the bars close, somebody comes home and decides they've got the munchies for French fries.
Cooking oil does us a favor: it smokes to give us a warning as it approaches its flash point...
<00:45:57.13 flash>
...of roughly 600 degrees.
<00:45:57.05> Number one problem people think if they have a grease fire like this, is I'll just grab it and run it over to the sink.
<burning pan, wille mae's pic over top>
That's exactly what Wille Mae Coleman did, according to fire investigators, and in moving that pan set her clothes on fire.
First responders found her burned and suffering on the floor.... her frying pan somehow wound up in the living room - flung, perhaps, as she fell.
<01:22:42.09 malat tape son interview> it just an instinctive thing to grab that pot.
Now, pay attention - this is important.
So all you need to do on a fire like this is grab an oven mitt and a tight fitting cover, just grab it, slide it right over the side and turn the stove off and leave it for ten to 20 minutes. Cuz if you don't, you take that cover off and it starts right back up.
No cover close by: grab a cookie sheet or pizza pan.
<00:49:34.04 malat cam> Slide it across.
Hold it down - turn off the stove - and feel blessed you've avoided an even bigger mistake.
<malat cam 01:04:09.07> Drinking water.
That's plain water Jamie Novak is pouring into that small cup.
Wille Mae turned to the sink with that burning pan of grease. Where firefighters found the water still running.
<firefighters at the ready with house. Sound at 01:07:30 malat cam> Everybody ready.
... and as you're about to see: water is the worst choice you can make.
<1:14:19 explosion of fire> one two three.
One cup of water, poured into one cup of burning oil.
<parallel park 01:14:28.24> If you were there right now we'd be taking you to the hospital, because you would have caught your clothes on fire, you would have had second and third degree burns...
<16:06:48.20 overhead 3> One...
Same fire - from the back of the room.
<parallel park fire ignites>
<sound under 01:06:42.28> One cup of water turns into 1700 cups of steam and blows all that oil out at once.
<side flashover 08:06:05.17 backtime some to part about oil blowing out>
<cam 3, wiltgen on floor second take 00:49:01.00>
Enough heat and flames reached the kitchen's back wall to burn the curtains off the windows.
<malat cam 01:14:49.19> That's why people need to know you never, ever, ever, put water on a grease fire.
It's also why this...
....tiny canister could be a life-saver in your home.
<1:22:26 malat cam> This is a stove top fire extinguisher.
<00:02:44.15> you mount one over these two burners and you mount one over these two burners.
<00:03:43.20 nice shot of him finishing on a tight then can hold>
The canisters are filled with a fire extinguishing powder. Do they work? Just keep an eye on that fuse.
<01:04:04.15 go pro cam 4> Here we go. Pop!
Now again from farther back.
<00:36:41.23 malat camera> Here we go.
That quickly the grease fire is out.
<parallel park 00:36:45.07> popped dropped the dry chemical, and now you as a homeowner is supposed to come in and shut the stove off.
Shutting off the stove removes any possibility the fire could reignite.
<00:39:42.20> and it blew these petals...
You may wonder why such a simple, and seemly effective, device isn't found in more homes?
<02:23:32.09> The White Bear Lake fire department wondered that too. Then did something about it.
<01:32:40.01 knock on door. Backtime of walking up to door>
With the help of federal grants --
<01:32:58.11> Thank you.
fighterfighters have installed a sixty-dollar pair of Fire Stops -- free of charge -- in nearly 3000 residential kitchens.
<01:35:04.24> we install these for anybody that qualifies with this type of range hood.
In fact White Bear Lake now requires Fire stops in unsprinkled rental properties.
<02:15:28.23> completely forgot that I had the stove turned on yet.
Chuck Schmidt credits this now-spent Fire Stop for saving his apartment after he left for a church service with a pot still on the stove.
<02:07:06.00> It was amazing, I tell you.
His is one of five Fire Stop saves since White Bear Lake began installations.
<01:19:28.18> you can see that oil heats up.
Five fires that didn't get to this point...
<01:26:47.17 nice tight pic at cam5 at 3:17:39> now you can see the cabinets have caught on fire. And the fire is spreading out it's starting to roll across the ceiling.
<01:27:04.22> that's when you get everybody out, you call 911 and you let the fire department fight the fire.
<01:29:09.13 pics at 01:29:21.07 then nats of spraying> Go ahead put her out.
<cover first part of tilt up/down of damage 01:39:18.24 bite at 01:35:40.01 malat cam> We're talking probably, minimum, 10,000 dollar fire. All of that could have been extinguished by a 50 dollars 60 dollar extinguisher.
<backtime and show pop on tight shot again>
<01:24:17.17> I wish we would have had it in this case.
Damage to a kitchen can be repaired ...
... but there is no fixing the lingering regrets of a life lost.
<01:13:39.15> I was there for her for a lot or things. I helped my mother. But I wasn't there at the end. I didn't get to say goodbye. I didn't get to say goodbye while she was conscious. And that will always bother me.
<shot of smoldering stove - hold for effect>
THE AVERAGE RETAIL PRICE FOR A SET OF TWO STOVETOP FIRESTOTHEY'RE AVAILABLE LOCALLY THROUGH SPECIAL ORDER AT LOWE'S.
ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS CONTACT THE COMMERCIAL SALES DEPARTMENT.
YOU CAN ALSO ORDER THE PRODUCT ONLINE AT LOUISVILLE FIRE AND SAFETY.PS IS 50 DOLLARS.
THE WEBSITE IS LOUISVILLE FIRE PROTECTION DOT COM.
YOU CAN GET A TEN PERCENT DISCOUNT IF YOU USE PROMO CODE "13WMAZ" AT CHECKOUT.
IF YOU MISSED THOSE NUMBERS... WE WILL RUN THEM AGAIN... LATER IN THIS NEWSCAST.

TWO WEEKS AFTER MACON COMMITTEE MEMBERS TOOK NO ACTION ON SEVERAL ANTI-CRIME RESOLUTIONS... CHAIRMAN VIRGIL WATKINS... PRESENTED HIS IDEAS... AGAIN.
AMY AUBERT EXPLAINS WHAT HE CALLS... THE GRIP PROGRAM... AND HOW HE SAYS IT'LL HELP COMBAT THE CITY'S GANG PROBLEM.
<<
Nats, Watkins: "This comprehensive model, it's been tested, it's been tried, you've seen it."

PUBLIC SAFETY CHAIRMAN VIRGIL WATKINS... TOOK A SECOND SHOT... AT PRESENTING HIS GANG REDUCTION... INTERVENTION... AND PREVENTION... OR GRIP... PROGRAM.

Nats: "There's the idea of the outreach."

IT COMES TWO WEEKS AFTER THE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE VOTED NOT TO ACT ON SEVERAL ANTI-CRIME RESOLUTIONS... BECAUSE THEY SAID THEY DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH DETAILS.
Watkins: "We didn't have a complete understanding of what this model was and how it could benefit our community."

A STEERING COMMITTEE WOULD HEAD THE PROGRAM AND COME UP WITH NEW IDEAS... FIND TARGET AREAS... AND BE THE OVERALL POLICY MAKING BOARD.
JUST UNDER THAT... COMES THE PROJECT DIRECTOR... WHO WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR DAY-TO-DAY MANAGEMENT.

Virgil Watkins, Macon City Council: "In places where lower education attainment happens, in places where there is a lack of jobs, high unemployemployment, and places where there are a lot of single family homes, they tend to have a high gang problem in those communities."

Nats, ringing

MACON MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT... SAYS MACON HAS A GANG PROBLEM.
HE SAYS THEY'VE BEEN WORKING FOR NEARLY A YEAR TO PASS LEGISLATION FOR YOUTH AND INTERVENTION PROGRAMS... AND SAYS HE APPRECIATES WATKINS' PERSISTANCE.

Mayor Reichert: "It would allow us to be pro active and not just reactive. Not to wait until the crime is done and then try to solve it, try to get in front of it and prevent it."

THROUGH MENTORING... OUTREACH... AND COMMUNITY EFFORT... WATKINS SAYS HE HOPES TO PREVENT NOT JUST CRIME... BUT THE GANG INVOLVEMENT.

Nats, Virgil

AMY AUBERT... 13 WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> WATKINS SAYS THE OVERALL COST HE'S ASKING FOR IN THE 20-13 BUDGET... IS 200 THOUSAND DOLLARS.
HE SAYS THAT WOULD COVER THE COST TO HIRE A PROJECT DIRECTOR... OPERATING EXPENSES... AND THE INTRODUCTION OF PROGRAMS.
HE PLANS TO TAKE THE SAME RESOLUTIONS BEFORE THE COMITTEE... AGAIN NEXT WEEK.

KIT COLBURN HAS APOLOGIZED TO HIS CLASSMATES FOR RUNNING AWAY EARLIER THIS MONTH.
ACCORDING TO HIS FATHER KEN COLBURN... KIT WROTE A LETTER TO HIS CLASSMATES.
IN IT... THE TEN YEAR OLD SAYS HE'LL NEVER RUN AWAY AGAIN... AND QUOTE...
"WHAT I DID WHEN I LEFT SCHOOL WAS WRONG. I AM VERY SORRY I MADE THAT CHOICE AND WANT ALL OF MY FELLOW STUDENTS TO KNOW IT WAS WRONG."

THE CITY OF WARNER ROBINS FACES A ONE-POINT-TWO MILLION DOLLAR BUDGET SHORTFALL.
MAYOR CHUCK SHAHEEN SAYS HE'LL SPEND THE NEXT MONTH WORKING WITH DEPARTMENT HEADS TO BALANCE THE BUDGET.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER BILL HARTE REVEALED A ROUGH DRAFT OF THE BUDGET AT A DAY-LONG COUNCIL WORK SESSION.
IT WAS HELD AT THE FARMHOUSE... A WARNER ROBINS EVENT FACILITY.
HARTE SAID REVENUES ARE DOWN... AND SOME CITY FUNDS DIDN'T MAKE THE MONEY HE ANTICIPATED.
SHAHEEN SAYS THEY'VE ALREADY SLASHED SPENDING IN SOME AREAS... BUT HE'LL GO BACK TO CITY DEPARTMENT LEADERS... ASKING THEM TO SUGGEST MORE PLACES TO CUT.
Chuck Shaheen, Mayor of Warner Robins: "One of the things, 77-percent of our budget is salaries. Were going to have to look at that. Were going to do early retirement tonight. That's going to help tremendously. That in itself my kind of help. Ive talked to the council, some of the employees that do take an early retirement, are we going to fill those positions. The gas prices. When we started this budget, it was $3.80 a gallon. Now it's down to $3.15. That will help a little bit too."
THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO A HEARING ON THE BUDGET JUNE 4TH AT CITY HALL.
STATE LAW REQUIRES THE COUNCIL TO APROVE A 2013 BUDGET BY JULY FIRST.

ALSO IN WARNER ROBINS... A RESOLUTION DESIGNED TO ALLOW SOME CITY EMPLOYEES TO RETIRE EARLY UNANIMOUSLY PASSED THROUGH CITY COUNCIL TONIGHT..
MAYOR CHUCK SHAHEEN SAID THE RESOLUTION ALLOWS EARLY RETIREMENT BETWEEN MAY AND DECEMBER FOR EMPLOYEES WHO QUALIFY...
AN EMPLOYEE MUST HAVE WORKED FOR THE CITY FOR 25 YEARS, OR THE EMPLOYEE'S AGE AND YEARS OF SERVICE MUST EQUAL 75 OR MORE TO QUALIFY..
SHAHEEN SAID COUNCIL MEMBERS CAROLYN ROBBINS AND MIKE DAVIS ABSTAINED FROM THE RETIREMENT VOTES BECAUSE THEY'RE RETIRED FROM THE CITY.
ANOTHER RESOLUTION COUNCIL PASSED EXTENDS LIFE AND HEALTH INSURANCE BENEFITS TO THE EARLY RETIREES..

WE'VE GOT A NEW THING GOING ON OUR 13WMAZ FACEBOOK PAGE. EARLIER TODAY... WE POSTED THIS PHOTO FROM AROUND CENTRAL GEORGIA... AND ASKED YOU TO TELL US WHERE IT WAS.
MANY OF YOU GUESSED CORRECTLY... IT'S THE SIGN ON SHURLING DRIVE NEAR GRAY HIGHWAY... JUST OUTSIDE THE 13WMAZ PARKING LOT.
FROM THAT POOL... WE SELECTED ROBIN SEBECK AS TONIGHT'S FAN OF THE DAY.
CONGRATULATIONS ON GETTING THE RIGHT ANSWER ROBIN.
YOU CAN GET INTO THE FUN ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE AT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ.

EARLIER IN THIS NEWSCAST... WE TOLD YOU ABOUT A DEVICE CALLED A STOVE TOP FIRE STOP.
THEY'RE CANISTERS FILLED WITH FIRE EXTINGUISHING FLUID... DESIGNED TO QUICKLY PUT OUT GREASE FIRES.
THE AVERAGE RETAIL PRICE FOR A SET OF TWO STOVETOP FIRESTOPS IS 50 DOLLARS.
THEY'RE AVAILABLE LOCALLY THROUGH SPECIAL ORDER AT LOWE'S.
ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS CONTACT THE COMMERCIAL SALES DEPARTMENT.
YOU CAN ALSO ORDER THE PRODUCT ONLINE...AT LOUISVILLE FIRE AND SAFETY.
THE WEBSITE IS LOUISVILLE FIRE PROTECTION DOT COM.
YOU CAN GET A TEN PERCENT DISCOUNT IF YOU USE PROMO CODE "13WMAZ" AT CHECKOUT.

THANKS FOR JOINING US.... FIRST MORNIN COMES YOUR WAY AT 5 A-M.
THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
LETTERMAN'S NEXT.
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.


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