- The Washington Times - Monday, September 24, 2007

DISTRICT

Woman killed in fire identified

D.C. fire officials have identified the elderly woman killed in a Southeast apartment fire Saturday as Lillian Steele, 74.

A Fire Department spokesman said investigators think that the fire was accidental but have yet to determine the exact cause. Miss Steele’s body was found on the first floor of the three-story building on Texas Avenue Southeast. The fire started at about 6 p.m. The spokesman also said every apartment in the building had a working smoke detector, except for Miss Steele’s. Firefighters also treated a 62-year-old woman from the building for smoke inhalation.

Smithsonian Channel debuts after delay

The Smithsonian Channel debuts this week after a 10-month delay in a deal with DirecTV.

The new television unit, a venture between the Smithsonian Institution and Showtime Networks Inc., planned to announce the DirecTV agreement today. Shows are to begin airing Wednesday for DirecTV customers who subscribe to HD programming. Network executives said they are working to finalize deals with other carriers soon. The start had been delayed in part because the unit, Smithsonian Networks LLC, changed its business plan to become a 24-hour, high-definition channel, officials said.

MARYLAND

ADELPHI

Two survive house explosion

An Adelphi couple survived an explosion inside their home Saturday night that blew out a wall and most windows. A Prince George’s County Fire and Rescue spokesman said investigators think there was a leak at the gas meter at the side of the house. The explosion occurred in the basement at about 10:15 p.m., and fire spread through the house. The two residents escaped safely before firefighters arrived. There had been complaints of a gas odor in the neighborhood before the explosion, and Washington Gas came to investigate.

ROSEDALE

Train kills man in lawn chair

A 45-year-old Baltimore man was hit and killed by a train Saturday night as he sat on a lawn chair on the tracks, according to the Baltimore County Police Department.

The accident occurred at about 8 p.m. near Martin Boulevard in Rosedale, northeast of the city.

Police say the man was visiting his brother, who is homeless and hangs out at a camping spot near the train tracks. They also said the conductor spotted the man sitting on a lawn chair on the tracks and said he did not appear to realize a train was coming. Police are calling the incident an accident.

BURTONSVILLE

Police investigate possible hate crime

The Montgomery County Police Department is investigating a possible hate crime against two Sikh men.

The men were assaulted by a group of teenagers on Sept. 15 in Burtonsville.

The victims are a 75-year-old from Springfield and a 77-year-old from Burtonsville.

Police said the men were walking in the woods when they came across the group of six or seven boys, thought to be about 14 or 15. They say two of the teenagers punched the men in the face, causing them to fall to the ground. Police said they have no further information about the motive.

HAVRE DE GRACE

Two charged in library arson

Authorities have charged two persons in connection with a fire at the library in Havre de Grace last month.

Police say Daniel Ramsay Jr., 28, and a 17-year-old accomplice threw an incendiary device through the window of the library on Aug. 22. The fire caused $17,000 in damage. Mr. Ramsay was arrested Saturday after a traffic stop on Route 40 in Havre de Grace. He’s charged with manufacturing and using an incendiary device and driving on a revoked license. Mr. Ramsay faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted. The 17-year-old has been released to the custody of his parents.

VIRGINIA

PORTSMOUTH

Train severs man’s arm

Police say a man lying on railroad tracks lost an arm over the weekend after it was severed by a passing train. A Portsmouth police department spokeswoman said it’s not clear why the man was on the tracks Friday night when the accident occurred. She says the victim was facing in the same direction the train was going, not across the tracks. One of his arms was across one of the rails.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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