tv News Ch8 Today at 530AM NBC January 21, 2016 5:30am-6:00am EST
welcome to news channel 8 today. i'm gene ramirez. >> and i'm adrienne pedersen in for gayle this morning. we begin with breaking news. a huge condo fire in tampa. at least eight units destroyed. >> at least 14 people are forced out of their homes this morning. news channel 8's ryan hughs is live at the condos near i-275 and bush boulevard. ryan, what's the latest? >> reporter: gene, good morning to you once again. crews are still here cleaning up at this point. if you look behind me, you can
units up there from one end of the building, essentially right down to the other end. a dramatic scene for people here this morning. we're told residents ran for safety at 2:00 a.m. the blaze started on the second floor and more than 4540 firefighter -- more than 40 firefighters rushed here to help fight this thing. within the last 30 minute, we got cellphone video taken by a resident. he said he looked outside and saw flames and he grabbed his dramatic video. and now intense flames shot 20 feet into the air here at westchester condos not far from i-275. we are told that eight units are destroyed and 14 residentses were displaced. -- residents were displaced. luckily no one was injured. firefighters as well as police officers and residents ran from door to door telling people to leave immediately. we spoke to a man earlier today
this morning when he got a call. his two stepsons were home. they were on the second floor. their unit is destroyed but thankfully, they got out safely. listen to him right here. >> i come back, yeah, i feel very, very devastated right now. i'm pretty sure everybody else, they feel the same way. you know, just unbelievable. >> reporter: it really is unbelieverrable for victor blue who you just heard from. families. this is what they have to deal with this morning. at this point, the fire for a cause. they don't know how this started at this point but luckily everyone got out safely. it is really a testament to the hard work of police officers and firefighters after you see the really dramatic video taken from residents here this morning. >> so thankful for that. and we heard from victor
too. for them? >> reporter: generally the red cross lends a hand in situations like this. they give people clothing, food and shelter and that's what he hopes for at this point. >> okay. thank you, ryan. we will check back soon. a busy morning here. more breaking news to tell you about. new information on another big story we're following this morning. a man is in police custody after firing a shot near an just blocks away from mitchell elementary school in tampa. now the 25-year-old nicholas accused well admits he fired the shot but -- nicholas caldwell admits he fired the shot but says he thought the cop was somebody else. his rifle was seized and that officer was never hit.
the mother of baby chance walsh will spend the next 25 years behind bars and she has to testify against the man she loves. she is taking a plea deal in herman slaughter case. -- in her manslaughter case. in september, officials tell us she watched as her husband joseph walsh beat and killed their nine-month-old son and then helped bury her baby in the woods the. mom will have to testify against her husband as part of the plea. the clean-up continues. many people in the bay area are stepping up to help, some in very special ways. they have friends who live in duette, that's where one of the tornadoes hit sunday. now they didn't know the victims who died, steve and katy wilson, but they wanted to do something to help out. they found that frame there in the wreckage. the couple took it home and worked on it.
it was battered and beat up. and we sanded it down, smoothed it out and added some custom paint work. >> and now the frame will be display add at the time funeral for the wilsons. the funeral will be held saturday in bradenton. >> nice of them to help out there. all eyes will be on wall street this morning. a dramatic drop pushed the stock market to the lowest level in nearly two years. stocks are having their worst start in history. the dow jones industrial average was down more than 500 points yesterday. gas prices could have a lot to do with it. the price of u.s. crude dropped below $27 a barrel, the lowest price since may 2003. and take a look at this, we checked this morning and the average price of regular gas in tampa is $1.82. you're looking at a gas station on dale mabry where it's close to that price.
we have seen prices as low as $1.47. this morning average price for a gal ron of regular gas in florida is -- gallon of regular gas in florida is $1.88. this is a little bit above the national average which is $1.86. it's more than 10 cents below last month's price of $1.99. the united states is set to announce new visa rules for europeans, possibly today. the goal is simple here, officials hope the new requirements will make it tough for europeans who fought for isis to come into the united states. right now, crews from tampa electric are preparing to head to north carolina ahead of a big winter storm. the goal is to help restore power. news channel 8's lindsey mastis joins us now live. the storm will be big, very, very big and the crews will be very, very busy. >> reporter: gene, you are right. good morning. you know, this storm could drop everything from ice, snow, even freezing rain and that's why
their people getting to the trucks today and taking off to north carolina. up. they'll be leaving in one hour. they are going to be sending about 250 people to north carolina. well road crews in north carolina are already preparing. they are spraying brine on bridges and roads, crews are going to continue pretreating up until the storm. and now they're also stocked up on sand and salt. some areas are already seeing ice and snow but the big storm is expected tonight. it's going to hit the eastern seaboard and airlines are already warning travelers that their flights could be affected. well teco is part of a group of electric companies that help each other out in emergencies. the utility company in north carolina will paying for teco's help. we will be here as they take off. i am seeing cars come through the parking lot this morning. and we will let you know what
>> soundses like they can use all the help they can get. thank you. many drivers across the northeast are dealing with dangerous snowy roads and the president is not immune to that headache. it was a slippery hour and 10 minutes-long drive for president barack obama to travel from joint base andrews to the white house. it's a drive that normally takes just 25 minutes and traffic is normally cleared out for the president, however that could not be done on this snowy wednesday in washington, d.c. the motorcade passed several accidents along the way as the roads the. president did arrive at the white house and did so safely. >> interesting to watch that. how is the weather looking? that. in fact, today will be short sleeved weather by the afternoon. now maybe still a little cool this morning. wendy in brooksville is at 42. but remember, that was below
and we see the fast warm-up. mid-60s by noon. yesterday's high temperature was 66. and we get up to 72 by 3:00 p.m. and like i said, after the chilly couple of day, that's going to feel very warm. and we are still mid-60s at 7:00 p.m. as the storm chances start to increase, i'm giving it a 60% chance on friday as a cold front comes through. and we could even be seeing some sprinkles saturday with a strong gusty wind off the gulf of mexico. so our eight-day forecast is up and down. warm today, cold and windy on saturday. and warm again on tuesday. and cold again by thursday. a roller coaster ride of temperatures. but let's hope that the drive into work this morning is going to be a little bit more calm than the roller coaster. >> so far, so good. we are not seeing any slow downs on the bay area interstates. that's nice news. and of course it's a cold drive this morning. what is happening and what may affect your drive. first of all, this construction has cleared from the roadway. it was just tying up one lane on the off-ramp north 75 to
sarasota looks great right now. and so does bradenton. and let's look at this issue. you can see some slow downs here, especially on the northbound side of 50th street which is known as u.s. 41 here at 17th avenue. what happened was a car hit a pole. the pole has been cleared from the roadway but the wires are hanging low. they have to clear that out. so both directions are blocked. and right by highway 60, there's construction going on. and that usually has lanes close sod take 78th instead 50th here to get by. that's a look at weather and traffic on the 8s. >> okay. thank you. well pirates are already preparing for their big invasion of tampa bay. coming up, how tampa is preparing for biggest event of the year. >> that's right. and also don't mess with mom. how she managed to scare these two men trying to steal her car at a florida gas station. you need to see all the video. it's all there on camera.
today in florida, a west palm beach man is waking up behind bars. he is accused of a horrible crime. >> this is terrible. police believe he decapitated his own dog. he faces two charges of animal cruelty. an anonymous caller told police that he was kicking his dog and throwing it around his apartment. when police arrived, they found
in a grave. and police found a medieval ax as well as two large knives. take a look at this surveillance video from south florida. you can see some would-be car jackers trying to steal a car. they go to one car but the woman there locked herself inside. and then they try to car jack the woman in the red car. she fights back and rips the ski mask off the car jacker. she had reason to fight back. >> she was a mom and what that bad guy didn't know in the backseat of the car were two kids and she wasn't going to let them be taken. she fought and dragged the guy out of the car and they both ran away like cowards. >> wow. all three men were arrested and booked on charges of attempted car jacking and fleeing police. >> you don't mess with moms. maybe you're having a rough start to the day, check this out. it will cheer you right up. your daily dose of cuteness. a group of adorable abandoned baby otters is safe at a florida wildlife hospital this morning.
while digging up the driveway. the mom got scared and ran off and didn't come back. and now volunteers on florida's east coast are busy with six half-hour feedings a day. >> hungry little guys. a researcher will approach the fda in a few weeks to request clinical trials for a lab-engineered heart valve. this guy has had four surgeries in his life. the professor is helping engineer a heart valve made of tissue that grows with the body. >> living tissue that can heal it, repair itself and in in this particular case for pediatric patient, grow with the patient. >> it could potentially replace detech fought for isis heart valves -- defective heart valves in patients and reduce the number of surgeries needed to one.
detecting dementia. british researchers now have a new way to predict a patient's five-year risk. it uses demographic, life style, medical history and medications. in a study of 100,000 patients, scientists found the method was most accurate for those ages 60 to 79 but less accurate in older patients. it's been a decade since pluto lost its status as a planet but there might be a ninth planet out there. researchers in california haven't seen the planet but they found evidence of an object with a mass 10 times that of earth. planet nine is 20 times farther from the sun than neptune meaning just one orbit would take 10,000 to 20,000 years. >> lame name but remember how you used to make those out of styrofoam. >> our childhood is alive. >> thanks teacher. after some fallout, the toy
the industry had the most solid growth figures in mar than a decade. toys inspired by movies like star war helped spike sales and outperform the market with a nearly 9.5% growth. well vegetarian, this is a storying for. wendy's is testing a new black bean burger. customers can order the burger vegan-style without cheese or they launched test markets. tampa not on the list. >> we like our cheese and our buns and our meat. >> we will take it. scientists are rejoicing after they rediscovered a free frog thought to be extinct for more than a century. but many are being slashed for industrial development. now these scientists are using the discovery to emphasize the
they report 42% are threatening with extinction. it's almost time for gasparilla 2016. >> yes, we are. >> tampa police are preparing to handle the clouds with an emphasis on safety though. this year's parade will be one of the first major events in the tampa bay area following the devastating paris and san bernardino, california attacks. >> there's no significant threats to the city of tampa that would prevent this event from taking place. >> they want all pirates to have a great time but also want to remind people adults with open containers in unauthorized areas will receive a sigh something that pirate beads, can't pay for. >> definitely not. on saturday, january 30th, news channel 8 will carry the gasparilla parade of pirates live.
we're all excited for that. good morning. when you go out in the sky right now, look west to east in the night sky in the predawn hour, five planets. all the planets are aligning. i don't know if we can see planet nine at this point. but these are the ones lined up. they look like bright stars in the sky. maybe put on a jacket. it's cool out there. 50 degrees at 8:00 this morning. and as very fast warm-up. 66 at noon. breaking out the shorts by 3:00 p.m. a bit above average at 72. and outside right now, 39 in zephyrhills. it's cool but tampa is 51. so warmer than yesterday. 45 in bartow. and even my weather watcher rich in oldsmar, he's 10 degrees warmer than yesterday at 48. during the day today, clear, cool, no freezing temperatures and then a southeast wind makes it feel splendid. and things change into tomorrow. the same storm system that's going to bring snow fall to the mid-atlantic runs through here
with the 60% rain chance. and for children's gasparilla parade saturday, i did and cold. -- saturday, windy and cold. traffic is at good speeds here overall. on 50th street, what happened is we had an accident where a vehicle hit a pole. and now the pole is cleared if the roadway and the actual roadway is clear but there are low-hanging wires in the area and that's not safe. so teco is onscene and wrapping that up but we have delays approaching this in both directions. take 78th, that's your best alternate instead of 50th at 17th. 50th also known as u.s. 41. and this accident wrapping up here martin luther king at 116th avenue, not tying up any lanes. a live look at traffic on i-4 from lakeland and you're going to tampa or plant city, no delays around the polk parkway. and this is around cathleen road in the heart of lakeland. that's a look at weather and traffic on the 8s.
>> thank you. this morning, we have some good news for your sweet tooth. the new flavor of oreo cookies that's now on the shelves. >> get milling and get ready to dunk -- milk and get ready to dunk. and now bad weather moving towards the northeast. how a boring parking lot can be the best place for a snow day. sorry, not here. you're watching news channel 8
this story is making me hungry this morning. we have delicious news for your sweet tooth. >> there's a new flavor of oreo cookies in stores. cinnamon bun nay investigatorred cookies officially -- buns officially hit the market. fans are rejoicing because they were spot on store shelve. the -- shelves. the company is planning to re- release red very well set everywhere. >> -- red velvet cookies every for valentine's day. crews in watertown, new york sprayed a parking lot full
was closed for renovations. the water will definitely freeze over with the frigid temperatures but workers say it will take a few days to have the rink ready. love that. and it's free. a magical frozen treat for winter fans in minnesota. workers are putting the last finishing touches on an ice castle. it's made of 60 solid ice castles and will soon be open for families to explore. you can find tunnels, caves and mountains and slides. and at night, a light show set to music sets the tone. >> but i think i like seeing it, not feeling it. >> it might be cold. >> it's okay from the screen. weather and traffic on the 8s is three minutes away. plus, in the next half hour, an update on breaking news this morning. at least 14 people forced out of their homes by a raging fire overnight. we will show who you is taking