Dawn fire damaged three apartment buildings...

WOODLAWN -- A

October 24, 1998

WOODLAWN -- A dawn fire damaged three apartment buildings near Security Square Mall yesterday and left 17 families homeless, fire officials said. No one was injured in the blaze.

The fire began in a third-floor apartment at No. 3 Woodbriar Court, said Battalion Chief Mark Hubbard of the Baltimore County Fire Department, and spread through the top floors to the two flanking apartment buildings.

The cause of the fire, which took nearly an hour to extinguish, remained under investigation. Damage was estimated at $750,000, Hubbard said.

A man threatening to jump off the 41st Street bridge prompted police to close the Jones Falls Expressway for about 45 minutes yesterday afternoon, bringing traffic to a halt in both directions.

Agent Angelique Cook-Hayes, a city police spokeswoman, said officers were called to the bridge about 3: 30 p.m. and found a 26-year-old man on a 3-inch-wide ledge overlooking the expressway.

Police said Northern District Sgt. John Windle talked the man out of jumping and took him to Sinai Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. The JFX was reopened about 4: 15 p.m.

Steam cleaning of reactor possible factor in explosion

The use of steam to clean out a reactor at CONDEA Vista's Wagner's Point plant might have been a factor in the explosion Oct. 13 that injured five workers and shook surrounding neighborhoods, federal investigators say.

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, in its first investigation in Maryland, said the steam "may have caused a rapid rise in the temperature and pressure" in the reactor, known as R-2, which might have prompted an explosion and fire in or around the reactor.

Officials at the plant, which makes a detergent ingredient, said this week that they were studying whether their decision to switch the catalyst used in a key reaction might have played a role in the explosion.

Drop-off sites to accept household hazardous waste

City residents may drop off household hazardous waste from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at the Memorial Stadium parking lot off East 33rd Street and at the Polytechnic Institute parking lot at Falls Road and Cold Spring Lane.

Materials accepted include pesticides, bleach, car and household batteries, gasoline and automotive fluids, oven cleaner, floor-care products, rat poison, weed killer and furniture strippers.

Proof of city residence is required.

A poultry producer that has lost dozens of workers and has been fined thousands of dollars after immigration raids has agreed to work with federal officials to avoid employing undocumented workers, federal officials said.

Under the agreement, which took effect yesterday, Allen Family Foods Inc., a Seaford, Del.-based company with three Delmarva Peninsula plants, two of them in Maryland, has promised to allow the Immigration and Naturalization Service to make unannounced spot checks and conduct random interviews of employees, and to give the INS access to payroll lists.

The company will avoid INS raids and rid itself, Allen's president says, of an adversarial relationship with the agency. Since 1992, Allen's Maryland plants have lost 190 workers in INS raids.

Pub Date: 10/24/98

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