WHEATON — Five people including a child died after a fire broke out early Thursday at an apartment building in southwest Missouri, authorities said.
Chief Bob Lombard of the Wheaton Fire Department told The Associated Press that the fire was reported at about 3:20 a.m. Fire crews arrived within minutes of getting the call and found the victims in two separate units at the building. The fire was fully involved when firefighters arrived from the fire station a few blocks away, Chief Lombard said.
Two adults and the child were found in one apartment and the two other adults were found in a nearby apartment in the eight-story building, he said.
49 female prison inmates sickened by carbon monoxide
YORK — Nearly 50 female inmates at a central Pennsylvania prison have been treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.
A statement from York County says five inmates remained hospitalized as of Thursday morning. The remaining 44 have been returned to the York County Prison.
The women fell ill Wednesday evening in a prison dormitory.
Officials say a preliminary investigation indicates the deadly odorless and colorless gas may have come from the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.
That system has been shut down. The county’s statement says carbon monoxide levels have returned to normal.
Retired British pilot killed in plane crash
DENVER — A man killed in a small plane crash east of Denver on Wednesday was a retired British Royal Air Force pilot.
The Denver Post reports that Brian North, of Parker, was flying a replica of the World War I era biplane called a Gipsy Moth when it crashed and caught fire near the Front Range Airport in Adams County.
An airport official says Mr. North was in his 70s.
The plane was a replica of an RAF SE5a. The airport official said Mr. North had the parts of the replica plane shipped from England and assembled the plane made largely of fabric and wood struts himself.
Roller coaster submerged by Sandy may stay put
SEASIDE HEIGHTS — The remains of a roller coaster that was knocked off a New Jersey amusement pier by Superstorm Sandy and partially submerged in the Atlantic Ocean might be left there for people to gawk at.
Seaside Heights Mayor Bill Akers told WNBC-TV in New York that officials have not made a decision on whether to tear down the coaster. But the mayor says he’s working with the Coast Guard to see if the coaster is stable enough to leave it alone because he believes it would make “a great tourist attraction.”
Garment salesman held in 3 merchant deaths
NEW YORK — A garment salesman was held without bail Thursday while awaiting a court appearance on charges he systematically killed three shopkeepers as they worked alone in their New York City clothing stores.
Salvatore Perrone, 63, of Staten Island, was held after his initial Brooklyn court appearance on murder charges.
He was arrested Wednesday in the suspected serial killings that scores of New York City detectives were investigating.
A pharmacy worker recognized him as the balding man shown in surveillance footage leaving the scene of the most recent shooting, Nov. 16, with a duffel bag, police said.
Another shopkeeper came forward and said Mr. Perrone had come into his store and questioned him about whether he worked alone and when he closed, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
Stolen trailer with 350 Christmas trees found
HAMLIN — A trailer filled with 350 Christmas trees that was stolen from a western New York farm has been recovered.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office told local media that a passer-by spotted the pickup truck and trailer Wednesday afternoon at St. Leo’s Church in Hamlin, on the Lake Ontario shore 18 miles west of Rochester.
The truck and trailer had been stolen earlier that morning from a farm in Hamlin. The farmer called police after he discovered the pickup truck he had backed into a driveway was gone and so was the 28-foot trailer behind it.
Inside the trailer were 350 Douglas fir trees worth about $12,000. It’s not known if all the trees were recovered.
No suspects were in custody.
Postcard mailed during WWII arrives at home
ELMIRA — A postcard mailed nearly 70 years ago finally arrived at the former upstate New York home of the couple who sent it.
The postcard was sent July 4, 1943, from Rockford, Ill., to sisters Pauline and Theresa Leisenring in Elmira.
Their brother, George Leisenring, was stationed at Rockford’s Medical Center Barracks at Camp Grant, an Army post during World War II. Their parents were visiting him when they mailed the postcard home.
The postcard reads in part, “Dear Pauline and Theresa, We arrived safe, had a good trip, but we were good and tired.”
Elmira’s Star-Gazette newspaper reported the postcard arrived last week at the family’s former home, where a different family now lives.
A postal official says the postcard may have been found by someone outside the Postal Service and placed in the mail.
• From wire dispatches and staff reports