Around the Region - Jan. 4

Published: Monday, January 4, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 3, 2010 at 10:52 p.m.

Smoke forces plane to divert, land

A small plane was diverted to the Gainesville Regional Airport on Sunday because of smoke in the cockpit.

The plane was flying from Tampa to South Carolina and was able to land safely in Gainesville, said Gainesville Fire Rescue District Chief Jeff Lane. The plane was carrying two passengers who reported smoke before landing the plane around 11:20 a.m., he said.

Fire crews and the airport crash team reported to the scene, he said, but there was no blaze on the plane that needed to be extinguished.

The plane was brought to mechanics at the University Air Center for repairs, said airport spokeswoman Michelle Danisovszky. There was no word on whether the plane was able to resume its flight.

Part of I-75 closed after car crash

A car crash briefly closed a portion of Interstate 75 on Sunday afternoon, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.

The two-car crash happened around 3:53 p.m in the northbound lanes of the interstate near the Alachua/High Springs exit, said Duty Officer Rick Skinner.

The crash closed all three lanes for about 15 minutes as emergency crews responded to the scene, he said.

All three lanes were reopened in about 25 minutes, he said.

Four individuals were transported to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries, he said.

There were no immediate details on their identities and conditions.

Home saved after 2 boys report fire

A fire might have destroyed a northwest Gainesville home Sunday if not for the reaction of two young Good Samaritans, Gainesville Fire Rescue reported.

The fire enveloped the carport and garage of a home in the 1200 block of Northwest 31st Drive, said District Chief Jeff Lane. Two boys in nearby Westside Park reported the fire to authorities around 2:30 p.m., he said.

"We don't know who they were, but we give them a lot of credit," he said.

The fire was apparently caused by the homeowners cleaning out their fireplace and leaving the embers near the garage, he said.

The homeowners weren't home at the time of the fire, which Lane said was extinguished before damaging the rest of the home.

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