Wednesday, February 6, 2002
TV crew aids effortto battle house fire
LOS ANGELES -- Crew members from a TV show about a lawyer who advocates for young people rushed to the aid of three real-life children, throwing water on a house fire that ultimately killed two boys and a girl.
The children -- a 4-year-old girl and boys ages 3 and 5 -- apparently started the fire Tuesday by playing with cigarette lighters in a first-floor bedroom, city fire spokesman Bob Collis said. Three adults suffered minor burns and smoke inhalation.
"Investigators found two lighters at the base of a bed," fire Capt. Joe Castro said.
There were no smoke detectors in the room where the children were found, which was in a large Victorian-style house divided into three apartments.
A crew shooting "The Guardian" nearby, including security workers and fire inspectors, ran two blocks to the fire and formed a bucket brigade, joining neighbors in a futile attempt to save the children.
"Flames were coming out of the front window," said Vahan Moosekian, co-executive producer of the CBS show. "Our security people, drivers and second assistant director had garden hoses and a bucket brigade and were throwing water inside the house through the window."
Lindbergh's grandsonto replicate flight
SEATTLE -- In 1927, Charles Lindbergh's solo New York-to-Paris flight in the Spirit of St. Louis made him an instant hero and international celebrity.
Seventy-five years later, grandson Erik Lindbergh plans to replicate the flight in the New Spirit of St. Louis, a modern single-engine plane with a Global Positioning System, satellite phone and e-mail capability.
With an average cruising speed of 184 mph, Lindbergh expects to complete the trip in 191/2 hours. His grandfather's flight, which had a cruising speed of 108 mph, took 331/2.
But a solo trans-Atlantic flight is still "one of the pinnacles of small-aircraft flying," said Lindbergh, 36, a licensed commercial pilot and instrument flight instructor who lives in the Seattle area.
There are fewer dangers now, but there are still elements of risk, he said. "Like my grandfather when he took off, I'm trying to eliminate every possible risk factor I can identify."
He's been training for months for the spring flight, using the same model plane, weighted to simulate the heavy fuel load.
There'll be no parachute for the over-water portion of the flight -- about a third of his 3,610-mile route over U.S., Canadian, British and French territory.
Queen Elizabeth marks50 years on throne
LONDON -- Britain held a 41-gun salute today to mark the 50th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II, who was to visit a cancer unit later in the day in memory of her late father King George VI.
On a day touched with sadness, the 75-year-old queen normally stays out of the public eye at Sandringham, the royal estate in Norfolk where her father died half a century ago of complications from lung cancer.
This year, however, she agreed to open the $1.7 million Macmillan Center for cancer treatment, at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in nearby King's Lynn.
At a time when some Britons are questioning the need for a monarchy, others maintain their allegiance.
"The House of Windsor has undergone many vicissitudes in the decades since [her accession]. The nation itself has changed. But in all the turmoil, her subjects have kept their respect and affection for a head of state who has reigned longer than all but five of her predecessors in the last 800 years," opined the staunchly royalist Daily Mail tabloid.
SAN DIEGO -- Intensifying the hunt for a 7-year-old girl who disappeared from her home over the weekend, police seized property belonging to a neighbor and searched the man's house for a second straight day.
The neighbor's house is less than 100 yards from the home where police said Danielle van Dam was abducted Friday night or early Saturday. On Tuesday, police seized two vehicles and other items from the man, whose name was not released and who has not been placed under arrest.
"We have been focusing on him but I'm not going to characterize him as a prime suspect," said Lt. Jim Collins, the lead investigator.
Danielle was last seen when her father put her to bed Friday night. Her parents said they discovered she was missing when her mother went to wake her up the next morning.