3 dead in wildfires as threat slowly abates
Three people have died at the scene of Southern California wildfires this week, authorities said Saturday, as firefighters aided by diminishing winds beat back a blaze on the edge of Los Angeles that damaged or destroyed more than 30 structures and sent a blanket of smoke across a swath of neighborhoods.
Los Angeles officials said the fire in the city’s San Fernando Valley area hadn’t grown significantly since Friday, and ground crews were tamping down lingering hotspots. Evacuation orders were lifted in all of Los Angeles County and in parts of Riverside County, where a second blaze was burning.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti urged residents to be cautious returning home to neighborhoods where fire crews could still be operating.
In Los Angeles, one man who tried to fight the blaze died of a heart attack.
The fire’s cause is under investigation, and authorities warned that the threat of flare-ups remained.
At the site of the second blaze east of Los Angeles, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said a second body was found at a mobile home park where 74 structures were destroyed Thursday in Calimesa. Officials previously reported one death at the community east of Los Angeles.
The department said one of the Calimesa victims has been identified as 89-year-old Lois Arvikson. Authorities are working to identify the other victim.
Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said the bulk of the fire at the city’s edge had moved away from homes and into rugged hillsides and canyons where firefighters were making steady progress slowing its advance.
East of Los Angeles, firefighters were also gaining ground on a blaze that ripped through a Riverside County mobile home park, destroying dozens of residences. In Northern California, the lights are back on for virtually all customers who lost power when Pacific Gas & Electric switched it off to prevent wildfires.
— Associated Press
Bishop among injured in shooting at wedding
A man shot the presiding bishop and a parishioner at a church wedding in Pelham on Saturday before being pinned down by attendees and arrested by police, state officials said.
The gunman arrived at the New England Pentecostal Ministries church at approximately 10:12 a.m., the Pelham police department said in a statement. Guests subdued the alleged attacker by the time law enforcement arrived within minutes of a 911 call, authorities say. They found Bishop Stanley Choate, 75, with wounds to his upper chest.
Dale Holloway, 37, has been arrested on a charge of first-degree assault on Choate, New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald announced Saturday evening.
There were no fatalities, but Choate is in serious condition at Tufts Medical Center in nearby Boston, according to MacDonald’s statement.
The shooting, carried out with a handgun, does not seem to be random, Pelham Police Chief Joseph Roark said at a news conference Saturday. No motive has been announced.
Two people suffered injuries less serious than the bishop’s, officials said. Claire McMullen, 60, was shot in the arm and is in “good condition,” according to MacDonald’s statement. Another parishioner, 60-year-old Mark Castiglione, has been released from a hospital after being struck in the head by an object.
Holloway is set to appear Oct. 15 in Hillsborough County Superior Court in Nashua, N.H. It is not clear if he has a lawyer.
Woman shot in her home by officer in Texas: A black woman was fatally shot by a white Fort Worth officer inside her home early Saturday after police were called to the residence for a welfare check, authorities said. Police said the responding officers saw a person near the window inside the home. The officer fired the single shot after "perceiving a threat," police said in a statement.
— From news services