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Manager credited with saving lives in Washington state motel blast (w/video)

3 firefighters die in Washington

Three firefighters were killed Wednesday and three to four others were injured, at least one critically, as raging wildfires advanced on towns in north-central Washington, authorities said. Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said the deaths, in a wildfire near Twisp, had been confirmed, but he said he was not immediately releasing further details about the circumstances. One firefighter was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle in critical condition, a nursing supervisor there said. "My heart breaks over the loss of life," Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement. The news came after officials urged people in the popular outdoor-recreation centers of Twisp and Wintrop, in the scenic Methow River valley about 115 miles northeast of Seattle, to evacuate as a complex of fires in the area covered about 50 square miles.

U.N. to let Iran inspect nuke sitE

Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors to investigate a site it has been accused of using to develop nuclear arms, operating under a secret agreement with the U.N. agency that normally carries out such work, according to a document seen by the Associated Press. The revelation Wednesday newly riled Republican lawmakers who have been critical of a broader agreement to limit Iran's future nuclear programs, signed by the Obama administration, Iran and five world powers in July. Those critics have complained that the wider deal is unwisely built on trust of the Iranians, while the administration insists it depends on reliable inspections.

Regal Theaters checking bags

Movie theater chain Regal Entertainment Group has started checking bags after several shootings at theaters across the country, a procedure it acknowledged on its website was "not without flaws" and would inconvenience guests but provide better security. It's unclear when the policy began, but several local TV stations reported online that customers noticed the change in Texas, Virginia, Florida and Ohio starting this month. Regal spokesman Richard Grover did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday. The company operates some 570 theaters across the country, including several in the Tampa Bay area.

Times wires

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