A South Park home was destroyed, seven people displaced, three people injured, and one person arrested after a three-alarm fire engulfed a Morgantown residence early Monday morning.

Firefighters responded to the blaze along Maryland Street shortly before 6 a.m. Monday.

“The fire occurred on Maryland, off South Walnut Street, at an apartment with tenants in it,” Morgantown Fire Chief Mark Caravasos said.  “The call came in about 5:45 a.m. and our crews were on scene most of the morning.”

Flames shot out of windows and caused about $125,000 in damage, Caravasos said.  The cause remains unknown, but investigators do not consider the fire suspicious, the chief said.  The building has officially been condemned.

Of the seven residents, three were taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital for undisclosed injuries, according to the Fire Department.

WVU spokesman John Bolt said three of the residents were WVU students.  Corey Neidhart, 22, of Wheeling, Charles Pell, 23, also of Wheeling, and Zac Cholak, 26, of Canonsburg, Pa. were in the home at 321 Maryland when it went up in flames.  WVU Students Affairs is working with the students to find alternative housing.

Meanwhile, another resident identified as 23-year-old Derek Blankenship was arrested after police say he interfered with firefighters and police.  Blankenship, a former WVU student, faces charges of obstruction of a public officer, disorderly conduct and public intoxication.

Blankenship is free on $325 bail.

Caravasos said firefighters spent hours at the scene working to put out the blaze.

“Initial reports came in of a large fire and there was a large body of fire showing from the rear of the building when crews arrived on scene,” Caravasos said.  “They got a real good knock down on the fire.  They got access to the building and were able to make sure everybody was out of the building.  They got a great attack on this fire, and actually the structure is still standing.”

Victory Holdings, a Morgantown-based company, owns the building.  Working smoke detectors played a major role in getting the residents out of the building, Caravasos said.

“The building did have smoke detectors and alerted the occupants of the fire in the building,” Caravasos said.  “As for the cause, we’re still looking in to that.”

The fire marshal is now investigating.


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    Posted: February 19, 2007Aiming to uncover the physics that power the auroras that crown Earth's poles, five tiny probes have been launched into space for a synchronized orbital dance to locate where the trigger is pulled to create the eerily magnificent displays. The Delta 2 rocket lifts off at 6:01 p.m. EST (2301 GMT). Credit: Carleton Bailie for United Launch Alliance NASA's $200 million THEMIS mission blasted off just before sunset Saturday from Cape Canaveral's pad 17B aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket.The 73-minute flight of the three-stage launcher culminated off the northeastern coast of Australia, when the five probes were flung off their spinning carrier.Each of the 282-pound spacecraft is equipped with identical suites of instruments to examine the origin of space explosions known as substorms. The events start with the soup of ionized particles from the sun, called the solar wind, buffeting the Earth at a million miles per hour. Some of that energy gets trapped in the magnetic field, causing the field lines to stretch back in the direction opposite the sun like rubberbands. But when stretched too far the lines snap, releasing the energy that generates shimmering auroral displays."For over 30 years, the source location of these explosive energy releases has been sought after with great fervor. It is a question almost as old as space physics itself," said THEMIS principal investigator Vassilis Angelopoulos. "A substorm starts from a single point in space and progresses past the moon's orbit within minutes, so a single satellite cannot identify the substorm origin. The five-satellite constellation of THEMIS will finally identify the trigger location and the physics involved in substorms." "Substorms are what make the aurorae interesting," said John Bonnell, a plasma physicist and aurora specialist with THEMIS. "Without them, the greenish white sheets are static, like a cloud. Substorms make the sheets ripple and create different colors, such as red borders and colorful edge effects." "THEMIS is so important because the same fundamental physical process is seen around all planets, it happens on the sun in solar flares, and in astrophysical systems such as black holes," Angelopoulos said. "It's amazing that being so close to us, here at Earth, it is not understood yet." An artist's concept shows the five THEMIS probes in space. Credit: NASATHEMIS is the first NASA mission to launch five science satellites together aboard one rocket."They say good things come in small packages. I'd have to say these probes are great by that measure," said Peter Harvey, the THEMIS project manager from the University of California at Berkeley."They are powerful. It is amazing to think that these things will accelerate themselves over half-way to the moon. Each one has 40 percent of its weight as fuel. So it's able to change its orbit and go quite a distance."The probes are tough. They can take flying through the radiation belts and keep on going. They can take three-hour shadows of the Earth and keep every component inside warm while the outside is freezing cold."The probes are smart. Every one of them travels a vast distance from the Earth and can't do that in contact with the Earth. So it can't constantly telemeter. So each probe has to then detect the substorm, capture that data, compress it and then wait until it gets closer to Earth to transmit that data to the ground."The probes are really efficiently packed. Things are so jam-packed inside each probe that you can't fit your hand in between any two items."The probes were built by Swales Aerospace, and their measurements will be combined with a network of observatories across the northern U.S. and Canadian."I cannot explain all my excitement. This has been a truly exciting project -- building five spacecraft and 20 ground-based observatories, flying spacecraft in synchronized orbits. You couldn't ask for more," Harvey said. An artist's concept shows the five THEMIS probes in space. Credit: NASAThe craft will spend the next month activating their instruments. This fall, controllers will maneuver the probes into wide-ranging orbits to begin the sophisticated orbital ballet in which all five line up behind the Earth once every four days to hunt for the substorm trigger site. The main science-collecting period will occur during the winter.Saturday's launch marked the 72nd consecutive successful flight by a Delta 2 rocket since 1997 and the 125th success overall in the 127-flight history of the workhorse booster dating back to 1989. "The United Launch Alliance team is proud to support the science and robotic mission of NASA's space exploration program by successfully completing our first east coast launch," said Mike Gass, president and chief executive officer of ULA.The newly-formed United Launch Alliance now manages all Delta and Atlas rocket missions. ULA is the joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin that has combined the Delta and Atlas rocket fleets."This is the first of a total of 21 launches we have manifested in 2007 consisting of a dozen Delta 2s, six Atlas 5s and three Delta 4s from the east and west coasts," said Dan Collins, ULA chief operating officer. "As our team proved today, they are up to the task. By focusing on safe practices, customer needs and mission success, I believe 2007 will be a banner inaugural year for ULA." Next up is the Atlas 5 launch of six experimental satellites for the U.S. military. That liftoff from Cape Canaveral had been planned for February 22, but officials ordered a two-week delay while the Sea Launch failure investigation continues. The Atlas 5's RD-180 first stage main engine is derived from the Russian powerplant used on the Sea Launch Zenit boosters.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:DELTA ROCKET LAUNCHES THEMIS VIDEO:WIDE-SCREEN LAUNCH MOVIE FROM PRESS SITE VIDEO:WIDE-SCREEN LAUNCH MOVIE FROM PATRICK AFB VIDEO:WIDE-SCREEN LAUNCH MOVIE FROM PLAYALINDA BEACH VIDEO:SPACECRAFT SEPARATION CONFIRMED VIDEO:POST-LAUNCH COMMENTS VIDEO:FRIDAY'S LAUNCH ATTEMPT SCRUBBED VIDEO:PAD SERVICE GANTRY ROLLED BACK VIDEO:THEMIS MISSION SCIENCE PREVIEW VIDEO:WATCH THE PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:ROCKET NOSE CONE INSTALLED AROUND THEMIS VIDEO:SPACECRAFT MOUNTED ATOP DELTA ROCKET VIDEO:THEMIS DELIVERED TO THE LAUNCH PAD VIDEO:SECOND STAGE ATTACHED VIDEO:FIRST STAGE ERECTED MORE:Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA's first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Fixes ordered across Boeing's Delta 4 rocket line SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: April 10, 2005CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Boeing's Delta 4 rockets are being retrofitted with new pressure valves to alleviate bubbling in liquid oxygen fuel lines that possibly occurred in the fleet's maiden liftoff in 2002 and investigators determined caused engine trouble during the first Heavy booster's December test flight.The so-called cavitation is a phenomenon when super-cold cryogenic liquid oxygen changes to vapor bubbles within a rocket's feedlines running from fuel tanks to engines.Rocket designers never caught the potential for such a problem in the Delta 4's first stage until after the Heavy's demonstration launch that suffered early extinctions of its three main engines during ascent. The shortened firings resulted in the rocket failing to achieve the proper altitude to deploy a pair of student-built nanosat experiments and a massive satellite mockup.The inquiry into the incident formally concluded with corrective actions to fix both the Delta 4-Medium and -Heavy rocket versions to prevent a repeat on future launches.Government and industry investigators said the bubbling started at the entrance of the liquid oxygen feedline where a filtration screen, the line's elbow bend and an internal gimbal strut altered the fuel flow. This changed the fluid's speed and decreased pressure as the liquid oxygen streamed from the tank.The Delta 4-Heavy features three Common Booster Core stages mounted together, each identical with a liquid oxygen tank on top, the large liquid hydrogen fuel tank accounting for three-quarters of the stage's length and a Rocketdyne RS-68 engine at the bottom.All three CBCs on the Heavy demo flight saw cavitation. The bubbles made their way five feet downstream from the liquid oxygen tanks to internal sensors used to tell the engines when the fuel supply is expended and command the shutoff sequence. The bubbles fooled the sensors into thinking the tanks were going dry and triggered the engine cutoff despite plenty of liquid oxygen still aboard."This feedline design has been present in all previous Delta 4 flights, but the unique combination of vehicle acceleration, liquid level in the tank and propellant flow rate for the Heavy mission reduced the fluid pressure enough to enable the creation of gaseous oxygen at this location as the tanks emptied," investigators determined."Further draining of the liquid oxygen tank worsened the conditions at the feedline inlet, causing the cavitation effect to extend further down the feedline. A pocket of gaseous oxygen continued to enlarge until it reached the Engine Cut-Off (ECO) sensors and caused the ECO sensors to momentarily indicate dry. This ECO sensor dry indication was sensed by the flight computer, which initiated the sequence to throttle-down and shut off the main engines as it is programmed to do."In reality, flight data showed that sufficient propellant remained in the tank to complete the planned first stage burn time."Despite extensive analytical work to understand the rocket's performance before the Heavy flight and even the first Delta 4-Medium in 2002, engineers did not look at the engine cutoff sensor area for possible cavitation."Based on a lot of previous experience we look very hard at cavitation at the inlet to the RS-68 engine, as that is the traditional place where cavitation might cause a problem. We did not look at this issue up at the top of the feedline where the ECO sensor is," Dan Collins, Boeing's Vice President of Expendable Launch Systems, said in a news conference Friday. The media briefing followed a remarkably open and forthcoming flow of information throughout the investigation that began immediately after the December 21 launch."We are as much at fault as Boeing in terms of not looking at this. Cavitation at the engines is a routine phenomenon. For whatever reason we did not think to look 100 feet up the LOX feedline," said Ken Holden, general manager of the EELV division at the federally-funded engineering support firm Aerospace Corp. "The nuances of this are such that it would not occur on each and every mission. It took a particular set of circumstances to bring this together."As part of the Heavy's investigation, engineers reviewed data from the earlier three Medium missions to see if bubbling occurred on those launches. The inaugural flight possibly experienced cavitation, however it did not trigger an engine shutdown."We have gone back and looked very hard at this phenomenon. There is a possibility that it may have occurred on one of the earlier flights," Collins said."We did not have the special instrumentation that was present on the Heavy demo, though, to know that for sure. There was absolutely no premature (engine cutoff), no signs of this at all. And when I say cavitation, it is possible that a very small vapor bubble well away from the engine cutoff sensors may have developed. There was absolutely no interaction with the cavitation and the engine cutoff sensors."Hardware and computer software changes are being ordered to increase the pressure in the liquid oxygen tank to counteract the pressure losses in the upper portion of the feedline, thereby removing the potential for bubbles forming. The earlier Delta 4 flights permitted the pressure to drop during the rocket's ascent. To raise the tank pressure later in the launch phase, the current pressure relief valve will be replaced with one having a higher pressure. Also, flight software will be modified to provide commands needed to increase the tank pressure later in the launch.Other alterations to onboard software include changes to guard against the engine cutoff sensors being tricked. The time in which the rocket's computer brain will begin accepting "dry" signals from the fuel lines will be moved later, the Air Force said."It's really a one-time fix that we will then carry through all vehicles going forward. We will have those completed over the next several months," Collins said.The next Delta 4 mission, using a Medium vehicle, does not require the fixes because its flight profile is deemed not susceptible to cavitation. That mid-to-late May launch will carry the next civilian geostationary weather satellite into orbit for the U.S. government from Cape Canaveral.The first rocket to receive the changes is stacked on the Space Launch Complex-6 pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California for a planned August 30 liftoff with a classified national security satellite payload.Schedules call for the next Heavy mission to occur on October 28 to deploy a missile-launch detection satellite, called DSP-23, from Cape Canaveral. Collins said the fixes won't delay the launch plans."All in all, the Heavy demo mission was successful in providing a wealth of vehicle design, environment and performance validation data. We are now taking all our knowledge and understanding from this Demo mission and applying it as we prepare for our operational missions," Collins said."Straightforward fixes have been identified that will allow us to safely fly the Delta 4 fleet without risk of repeating the cavitation that led to premature engine shutdown," said Col. John Insprucker, Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle system program director."The team findings do not detract from the successes we experienced on the Delta 4 mission. We successfully checked out and launched a Heavy rocket from the Boeing launch pad that also saw its first Heavy flight. We successfully flew three liquid-propelled booster cores side-by-side and cleanly separated the strap ons. We successfully flew the upper stage through the long three-burn profile required of a geosynchronous mission. We successfully separated the Demosat satellite."The ability of the Delta 4 to fly an end-to-end mission, despite the premature engine shutdown, made this an exemplary test flight," Insprucker said.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:SPACEFLIGHT NOW LAUNCH PAD CAMERA 1 VIDEO:SPACEFLIGHT NOW LAUNCH PAD CAMERA 2 VIDEO:FROM LIFTOFF TO BOOSTER SEPARATION VIDEO:THE DELTA 4-HEAVY LAUNCH (SHORT VERSION) VIDEO:ONBOARD CAMERA RECORDS LAUNCH VIDEO:ONBOARD CAMERA SEES BOOSTER SEPARATION VIDEO:ONBOARD CAMERA CAPTURES FAIRING JETTISON AUDIO:LISTEN TO THE 68-MINUTE PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:ANIMATION PROVIDES PREVIEW OF A DELTA 4-HEAVY LAUNCH VIDEO:RE-LIVE THE INAUGURAL DELTA 4 LAUNCH FROM 2002 VIDEO:ON-PAD FLIGHT READINESS ENGINE FIRING TEST VIDEO:TAKE TOUR OF LAUNCH PAD 37B Apollo 11 special patchSpecial collectors' patch marking the 35th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing is now available.Choose your store: - - - Inside Apollo mission controlAn insider's view of how Apollo flight controllers operated and just what they faced when events were crucial. 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