Mother and baby killed after tree falls on their house in Hurricane Florence

A mother and infant in North Carolina are dead after a tree fell on their home - the first two fatalities of Hurricane Florence.

The Wilmington Police Department said Friday (local time) that the two were killed when a tree fell on their house. The father was transported to a hospital for treatment.

Neighbour Adam Sparks says the family stocked up for the storm, just like he did. He says he heard the tree crashing down, but wasn't sure what had happened.

"It was very dark, and the wind being high like it is now, it was even higher then. So, all you could see was water and wind and it was very loud winds. So, you can't really figure out what's going on out there," he says.

"It's sad, something like that happening to a neighbour."

Forecasters have been predicting catastrophic flash flooding. The National Hurricane Center in Miami says more than 405mm of rain have fallen at locations in southeast North Carolina and another 508mm to 635mm is on the way.

Mother and baby die in Hurricane Florence after tree falls on their house. Source: 1 NEWS

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Justin Bieber has secretly married girlfriend Hailey Baldwin, according to report

Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin have reportedly already got married and could hold their ceremony as early as next week.

Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin have reportedly tied the knot.

The couple were seen at the Marriage Bureau at the courthouse in New York City on Thursday (local time) thought to be getting their marriage licence, but it has now been revealed that the happy couple decided to wed there and then and are planning a celebration with family and friends in Canada and it could take place in the next seven days.

A source told People magazine: "They went ahead and did it without listening to anyone. They're going to have a big blowout, in front of God and everyone they love."

Justin confirmed his engagement to Hailey just a few days after he proposed during a trip to the Bahamas last month.

He wrote: "Was gonna wait a while to say anything but word travels fast, listen plain and simple Hailey I am soooo in love with everything about you! So committed to spending my life getting to know every single part of you loving you patiently and kindLY. I promise to lead our family with honor and integrity letting Jesus through his Holy Spirit guide us in everything we do and every decision we make. My heart is COMPLETELY and FULLY YOURS and I will ALWAYS put you first! You are the love of my life Hailey Baldwin and I wouldn't want to spend it with anybody else. You make me so much better and we compliment eachother so well!! Can't wait for the best season of life yet!. (sic)"

And Hailey has also decided to take a back seat with her career so she can spend time with her fiancé.

Asked why she hadn't booked so many modeling jobs at New York Fashion Week this year, she shared: "I've tried to be really choosy with fashion week going forward, just because I want to have the time to spend being relaxed and being with family - and my fiancé."

Luckily for New Zealand fans, the star had already visited these shores.
Source: 1 NEWS

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US firefighter crushed by tree when retardant was dropped from plane only 30m above the treetops: report

A firefighter battling the largest wildfire in California history was killed last month when thousands of litres of flame-suppressing liquid was dropped from a Boeing 747 mistakenly flying only 30 metres above the treetops, according to an official report Friday (local time).

The pilot and a supervisor flying ahead in a small guide plane led the giant modified jetliner nearly into the trees on August 13 because the pilots failed to recognise that there was a hill in the flight path, according to the Green Sheet report by the state's firefighting agency.

Because of the near ground-level release, the retardant struck with such force it uprooted an 27 metres tree that fell on Matthew Burchett, a 42-year-old battalion chief from Utah helping with the Mendocino Complex Fire north of San Francisco.

Another large tree was snapped by the force of nearly 75,700 litres of liquid and three firefighters were injured, one seriously.

The guide pilot "made a 'show me' run" for the 747 pilot over the intended path for the retardant drop, and marked the path for the jet with a smoke trail, according to the report.

"Obscured by heavy vegetation and unknown to the (747) pilot, a rise in elevation occurred along the flight path." The ground sloped up about 50 metres so quickly that the 747 cleared the hilltop in just two seconds, according to the report.

The guide planes have two people aboard, a pilot and an "air tactical supervisor."

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Mike Mohler could not immediately say if either would face investigation or discipline for not identifying the hill.

The retardant drops were intended to help secure a fire break cut through the trees by a bulldozer to stop advancing flames.

Burchett and the other three firefighters were working on the hill next to the firebreak when the drop was announced over a radio and firefighters were told to "Clear the area out."

The four did not respond to the warning, though the report says that "when personnel are working under a tree canopy, supervisors must ensure the drop path is cleared."

It is not uncommon to have firefighters under retardant drops, Mohler said, though he could not say if the four firefighters knew they were in the flight path or why they didn't acknowledge or act on the radioed warning.

"We have ground troops under aircraft, it's not unusual at all. It's part of what we teach," he said.

A firefighter who can't move out of the way is trained to lie spread-eagled, face down, toward the oncoming aircraft, one hand holding the top of the helmet as it takes the brunt of the impact from the falling slurry and air turbulence that can threaten to lift a firefighter off the ground.

Burchett, a suburban Salt Lake City firefighter, was crushed by the uprooted tree, while the others were stuck by falling tree debris. Two had deep muscle contusions and ligament damage. One also suffered broken ribs, while the fourth firefighter had scratches and abrasions.

The report warns that some firefighters have used their cellphones to record retardant drops, which can be distracting and harm their ability to recognise the danger and take evasive action. But it does not say if any of the four injured firefighters was taking video at the time.

Firefighters Ryan Foley, center, and Andrew Arthen with San Bernardino Cal Fire make a stand in front of an advancing wildfire as they protect a home Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, in Lake Elsinore, Calif. Firefighters on Friday are protecting foothill neighborhoods in the city of Lake Elsinore near where the blaze flared up amid unpredictable winds a day earlier. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Firefighters fighting the blaze that has been raging for days in California. Source: Associated Press


'I adored you from the day I met you' - Ariana Grande pays tribute to ex-boyfriend Mac Miller

Ariana Grande posted a tribute Friday to her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller a week after the hip-hop star's death, saying she's sorry she couldn't save the "sweetest soul" who for so long was her "dearest friend."

Grande posted a video of Miller laughing on her Instagram page Friday (local time), and shared her first words on his death.

She writes, "I adored you from the day I met you when I was nineteen and I always will. I can't believe you aren't here anymore," and goes on to say "I'm so mad, I'm so sad, I don't know what to do. You were my dearest friend for so long."

Paramedics found the 26-year-old Miller unresponsive in his Los Angeles home on September 7 and declared him dead soon after. An autopsy has been performed, but no cause has been announced.

He spoke frankly of his struggles with depression and substance abuse in his music.

Miller and the 25-year-old Grande, who is now engaged to "Saturday Night Live" star Pete Davidson, were in a two-year relationship that ended earlier this year.

She posted a wordless black and white photo of him on her Instagram post last weekend, but had not made any statements.

She ends Friday's Instagram post by saying "above anything else, I'm so sorry I couldn't fix or take your pain away. I really wanted to. the kindest, sweetest soul with demons he never deserved. I hope you're okay now, rest."

FILE - In this July 13, 2013, file photo, Rapper Mac Miller performs on his Space Migration Tour at Festival Pier in Philadelphia. Los Angeles County coroner’s spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, that investigators have performed the autopsy and released the Miller's body to the family, but a cause will not be announced until the results of toxicology tests that can take weeks or months. Miller was found dead in his Los Angeles home last week. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, File)
Rapper Mac Miller performs on his Space Migration Tour at Festival Pier in Philadelphia. Source: Associated Press