Sunday, May 23, 1999


Lit cigarette ignites apartment fire

        A careless smoker caused a fire in a 24-unit Hyde Park apartment building early Saturday, fire officials said.

        Two dozen firefighters from five companies attacked the 4 a.m. blaze at 3632 Tarpas Ave. They brought at least one person down from a third-floor balcony using an extension ladder.

        No one was injured.

        The fire started in the rear bedroom of an apartment where the resident, who is not being identified by authorities, fell asleep with a lit cigarette, according to District Chief Jay Boeing.

        Estimated damages to the building and contents totaled $80,000.

        Residents of all but the damaged apartment were able to return to their homes later Saturday.

Railroad worker dies of injuries
        A Cincinnati railroad worker has died after being struck by a train Wednesday afternoon.

        Steven Carper, 36, a Norfolk Southern Corp. railroad worker, died on Friday at University Hospital, according to a nursing supervisor. Mr. Carper was struck by a rail car while trying to link it with another.

        According to Cincinnati firefighters, Mr. Carper was working in the Queensgate rail yards about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday when he was struck.

Cancer survivors to take river cruise
        Cancer survivors will celebrate their lives with a riverboat cruise June 6.

        About 800 people will take part in National Cancer Survivor's Day festivities on the Ohio River. Invited are former cancer patients, oncologists, family and friends.

        For information, contact the American Cancer Society, at 891-1600. The cruises, on four BB Riverboats crafts, will begin about 12:30 p.m. and include entertainment and food.

UC to award honorary degrees
        The University of Cincinnati will award honorary degrees to a presidential hopeful and one of the owners of the Reds during commencement June 11.

        Honorary degrees will be awarded to Republican presidential hopeful Elizabeth Dole, Reds partner George Strike and Marianna Tcherkassky, a world-famous ballerina who is a former visiting professor at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

        Mr. Strike, chairman of Cincinnati-based American Laundry Machinery Inc., was chairman of UC's board of trustees until December when his board term expired.

        The board on Wednesday approved the awarding of the honorary degrees and also agreed UC should present an Award for Excellence to Malcolm Fraser, who holds the J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished chair of opera at CCM.

Pilot of downed plane feels blessed
        COLUMBUS — The pilot who crashed his plane in a suburban neighborhood but avoided homes or hurting anyone said he feels blessed to be alive.

        “My passenger is alive. I'm alive. And I was able not to inflict any major damage on the ground,” David Fischer said Friday from a bed at Ohio State University Medical Center.

        Mr. Fischer, 49, of suburban Dublin, was in serious condition with a fractured back and cuts to his arm and leg Saturday. Passenger Gilbert Holcomb Jr., 45, of Columbus, was in serious condition in Riverside Methodist Hospitals on Saturday, a spokesman said.

Gun in trash can fires during fire
        COLUMBUS — A gun in a trash can went off during a house fire on Saturday, shooting two firefighters in the legs as they crawled by, authorities said. Another was slightly burned.

        The men who were shot were in satisfactory condition at Grant Hospital. The man who was burned was treated and released from Ohio State University Hospital.

        The fire was caused by arson, but other details were not available, said Battalion Chief Tom Hackett.


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