Officials: NC prison guard killed with fire extinguisher

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Corrections officials in North Carolina say the prison guard who died after being attacked by an inmate was hit with a fire extinguisher. The Department of Public Safety said Friday that 29-year-old Sgt. Meggan Lee Callahan was responding to a trash can fire in a dormitory at Bertie Correctional Institution on Wednesday. Officials say Callahan grabbed a fire extinguisher to try to put out the fire before inmate Craig Wissink attacked.

Off-duty Border Patrol agent may have started Arizona fire

An off-duty Border Patrol agent is being investigated for possibly starting a large wildfire in southern Arizona while target shooting last weekend, authorities said Thursday. Border Patrol officials said in statement that they were aware the investigation about how the fire began Sunday "involves an off-duty Tucson Sector Border Patrol agent" that they did not identify.

Fire destroys movie set in Virginia being used for 'TURN'

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Officials say a fire has destroyed part of a movie set that was being used to film the final season of the AMC television series "TURN: Washington's Spies." News outlets report the fire occurred Wednesday on property owned by the Virginia Department of Corrections. Powhatan County Fire and Rescue Chief Steven Singer says crews found the two-story framed building engulfed in flames when they arrived.

Australian firefighters contend with pet crocodile

DARWIN, Australia (AP) -- Firefighters who fought a blaze at a house in the tropical Australian city of Darwin on Thursday contended with the added distraction of being watched by a 4-meter (13-foot) pet crocodile. The fire destroyed the two-story house in the upscale suburb of Fannie Bay but did not harm the huge reptile, a female named Albert, which lives in a backyard enclosure, firefighter Bill Gleeson said.

Belarus march against nuclear power on Chernobyl anniversary

MINSK, Belarus (AP) -- About 400 people have marched in Belarus' capital to mark the anniversary of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster and protest the construction of a nuclear plant in the country. Wednesday was the 31st anniversary of the explosion and fire at the nuclear plant in neighboring Ukraine. The disaster spewed fallout-contaminated smoke over a wide swath of northern Europe.

Some high plains farmers struggling after fires, drought

DENVER (AP) -- Deep snow is melting into Western mountain streams, but some farmers and ranchers on the high plains are struggling amid a lengthy dry spell and the aftermath of destructive wildfires. A swath of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas has been in a drought or near-drought condition for six months, putting some of the winter wheat crop in doubt.

2 teens charged in death of man found in burning home

NEW ELLENTON, S.C. (AP) -- Authorities have charged two South Carolina teenagers with murder after deputies in Georgia found them with a dead man's car. Aiken County Sheriff's Capt. Eric Abdullah said in a news release that the teens killed 74-year-old David Mackie and set his mobile home on fire Saturday night in New Ellenton. Coroner Tim Carlton says Mackie was beaten and stabbed to death, dying before the fire.

NYC house fire kills 5, including children

NEW YORK (AP) -- Investigators are scouring for clues about what sparked a fast-moving New York City house fire that killed five people, including two young boys and two teenage girls. The fire broke out Sunday afternoon, on a street full of single-family homes in the middle class neighborhood of Queens Village, a neighborhood near Belmont Park, which hosts the Belmont Stakes, the final leg in horse racing's Triple Crown.

Teen found shot in fire had backpack, shoes, hoodie stolen

IRMO, S.C. (AP) -- Authorities say a dead teen who was found shot by firefighters putting out a brush fire had his backpack, shoes and hoodie stolen, but not the semi-automatic rifle he was carrying. Lexington County Sheriff's spokesman Capt. Adam Myrick said several surveillance cameras show 18-year-old Keon Brantley as he walked out of his apartment and toward woods in Irmo on April 15. Brantley's body was found about an hour later.

Sheriff: 3 boys, ages 12 and 13, dragged and burned dog

AWENDAW, S.C. (AP) -- Authorities have arrested two 12-year-olds and a 13-year-old boy and charged them with cruelty to animals after a dog was wrapped in chains, dragged and set on fire in South Carolina. Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon said at a Friday news conference that the three boys remain in a juvenile prison. The dog was found April 11 at The Center for Birds of Prey on U.S. 17 northeast of Charleston.

20 children killed when minibus hits truck in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- A minibus carrying young students collided with a truck and burst into flames in South Africa on Friday, killing about 20 children. The victims were between 5 and 10 years old, said Russel Meiring, a spokesman for paramedic company ER24. He said several children survived after being pulled from the wreckage near Bronkhorstspruit, east of the capital, Pretoria.

Sheriff: Teen who died near brush fire was also shot

IRMO, S.C. (AP) -- Investigators say a teen who died after being found by Columbia firefighters battling a brush fire had also been shot. Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said in a news release Tuesday that deputies are investigating the teen's death near an apartment complex in Irmo as a homicide. Coroner Margaret Fisher identified the dead teen as 18-year-old Keon Brantley.

No one hurt after inmates set fire in South Carolina jail

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Officials say no one was hurt when inmates set a fire in a South Carolina jail. The State newspaper reported the Columbia Fire Department said inmates at the Richland County jail set fire in a cell around 10 p.m. Sunday. Fire Department Capt. Brick Lewis said the fire was out by the time firefighters arrived. He said a blanket had been set on fire in the cell.

Ambushed trooper: 'Coward' shot me and killed comrade

MILFORD, Pa. (AP) -- Alex Douglass used to be 180 pounds of muscle and sinew, a CrossFit and running enthusiast who ran a 50-mile ultra-marathon when he wasn't working his day job as a state police trooper. All of that was ended by a sniper's bullet. Douglass survived the ambush that took his comrade's life on Sept. 12, 2014, but the devastating wounds caused by that single rifle shot still haven't healed.

North Carolina wildfire almost completely contained

MARION, N.C. (AP) -- Forestry officials say they are scaling back on the number of firefighters working on a blaze in the mountains of western North Carolina. Forestry officials told local media outlets Sunday that many of the 200 firefighters working on the Dobson Knob fire in McDowell County are wrapping up their operations since the blaze is about 96 percent contained.

Reports: Tibetan monk sets himself on fire in western China

BEIJING (AP) -- A Tibetan Buddhist monk set himself on fire in western China in apparent protest against Beijing's rule over the restive region, a monitoring group and a U.S. government-backed radio station said. The monk set himself ablaze in a public square on Saturday morning in Kardze, also known as Ganzi, in western Sichuan province, according to Radio Free Asia and Free Tibet, an advocacy group based in Britain.

Strong winds drive smoke from Georgia wildfire into NC

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Weather officials say strong winds are carrying smoke from wildfires in Georgia into North Carolina. Multiple media outlets report that the National Weather Service in Raleigh said southwest winds pushed the smoke up Sunday from the southeast Georgia fire. The Division of Environmental Quality air quality index number for the Triangle area of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill hit the orange alert level Sunday.

NC officials investigate suspicious fires in abandoned homes

NEW BERN, N.C. (AP) -- Authorities believe three fires that burned empty homes within 20 minutes of each other in a North Carolina river community were set on purpose. Multiple media outlets report authorities are treating the fires in two houses and a mobile home in the James City area of New Bern as arson. The second fire started Tuesday in a house that James Forbes' father built.