- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 19, 2007

DISTRICT

Man critically hurt in apartment fire

A man was in critical condition yesterday after suffering third-degree burns over 75 percent of his body during an apartment fire in Northwest, fire officials said.

Firefighters responded at 11:41 a.m. to 801 Rhode Island Ave. NW for the report of a fire with people trapped, said fire department spokesman Alan Etter.

When firefighters arrived, they found heavy fire and smoke showing from the top floor of the eight-story building, Mr. Etter said.

He said they also saw an adult male hanging from a window. Firefighters extended a ladder to the eighth floor, secured the man and began treating him as he was lowered to the street.

The 38-year-old man, who was not identified, also suffered severe smoke inhalation and tracheal burns, Mr. Etter said. One firefighter was transported to a local hospital after overexerting himself on the scene. He was treated and released.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

MARYLAND

ST. MICHAELS

Deadly fire consumes waterfront home

Two persons were killed and a third person was missing and presumed dead after fire destroyed a large waterfront home early yesterday morning, fire marshals said. The victims ranged in age from 15 to 21.

Four other young persons escaped after the fire broke out around 2 a.m., Deputy State Fire Marshal Joseph G. Zurolo Jr. said.

The home’s owners, Matthew and Margaret Fitzgerald, were not home when the fire started. They have since been accounted for, officials said.

“No parents were home at the time of the fire,” Mr. Zurolo said.

Mr. Zurolo said four of the young persons at the house were guests of the owners’ children, but he did not know what they were doing when the fire started. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

The 6,400-square-foot home sits on the Miles River in the wealthy resort community of St. Michaels, a popular weekend getaway destination.

The house was virtually destroyed, with damage estimated at $500,000, Mr. Zurolo said.

OCEAN CITY

Officials say slots will hurt business

Ocean City officials don’t want slot machines anywhere near the beach resort — or anywhere else in Maryland.

The city’s Chamber of Commerce met Thursday morning with Gov. Martin O’Malley and Comptroller Peter Franchot. The business owners then voted on the spot to oppose expanded gambling in Maryland.

Ocean City Mayor Richard Meehan said slots would be a direct threat to the resort town. He said people have only so much disposable income — and he wants them to keep spending it in Ocean City.

Mr. O’Malley favors allowing slots at racetracks. Mr. Franchot opposes slots and says there’s still a lot of anti-slots sentiment in the General Assembly.

VIRGINIA

CHARLOTTESVILLE

Students threatened over music sharing

The Recording Industry Association of America is threatening to sue seven computer users at the University of Virginia accusing them illegally sharing songs online.

The music industry trade group has sent a letter to university officials notifying them of the violations. The group wants the school to notify the students, faculty or staff.

The letter gives users 20 days to contact the association or face a federal lawsuit that could result in a minimum of $750 in damages for each copyrighted recording shared online.

The University of Virginia is among 58 colleges and universities across the country that were sent warning letters last week. Another Virginia school — the Virginia Military Institute — also got letters.

The recording industry association’s counsel, Steven Marks, said students have too many legal downloading options to steal music.

University spokeswoman Carol Wood said the school is looking into the matter.

Because the association tracked the purported copyright offenders by their computer’s online identifier, it’s up to university officials to identify the violators and forward them the lawsuit notice.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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