California News

Monday, March 27, 2017

1 Dead, 7 Rescued After Four-Alarm Fire Breaks Out in Oakland

VIDEO: One person is dead and seven people were rescued after a massive blaze ignited inside an apartment building in Oakland Monday morning. Three people suffered injuries as a result of smoke inhalation, fire officials said. "I just heard screaming and breaking glass, sounds of wood breaking and explosions," resident Kirstin Evans said. "I looked at my window and it was all orange and yellow. I ran out of my apartment and it was all smoky and debris was all over the place." The four-alarm blaze, which was reported around 6 a.m. at 2551 San Pablo Ave., triggered "multiple rescues," fire officials said. Heavy flames and smoke could be seen spewing from the building.
KNTV-TV NBC 11 Bay Area

Modesto names Alan Ernst interim fire chief

Modesto has appointed Operations Division Chief Alan Ernst as interim fire chief in the wake of the departure of Fire Chief Sean Slamon. “We have great confidence in Alan as he has the skill sets necessary to continue the progress made by Fire Chief Sean Slamon and lead the department into the future,” City Manager Jim Holgersson said in a news release. Slamon’s last day will be Tuesday after 28 years in Modesto. He is leaving to become chief of the Carson City Fire Department. Ernst has been a firefighter for 26 years. He said he started as a volunteer, then part-time and finally seasonal firefighter for the El Dorado County Fire Protection District before coming to Modesto in 1997.

Montezuma fire district extends acting chief; settles with ex-chief

Ron Glantz was hired by the Montezuma Fire Protection District to be a bridge between the former chief and the next one. That bridge is getting longer. “I agreed to do it another year,” Glantz said in a phone interview Friday. “When I got into this, they (district commissioners) were going through a process with the former chief and I don’t think they knew it was going to take as long as it did.” Joe Rosewall was terminated by the commission July 26 and appealed the dismissal. Prior to going to a formal appeals hearing, however, the two sides settled. That was in December.
Fairfield Daily Republic

Los Gatos: CalFire engine hit by car while responding to crash

A Cal Fire engine en route to a vehicle crash near the summit on Highway 17 collided with another vehicle Friday afternoon, according to the California Highway Patrol. It all began with a collision reported at 1:09 p.m. near the Redwood Estates onramp to Highway 17, involving a blue Ford sedan and a silver Ford two-door vehicle. At least one motorist suffered minor injuries, and a tree was felled by the crash. Around 1:38 p.m., one of the Cal Fire engines dispatched to the scene was southbound on Highway 17 when it collided a Subaru Outback. Because the engine crew had to get to the initial crash site, it summoned the Subaru driver to follow them to that scene, Officer Ross Lee said. Once the fire crew finished tending to the first crash scene, they were expected to handle the information exchange with the Subaru driver, Lee said.
Mercury News

New North Sonoma Coast fire district sues county in closely watched tax dispute

The newest fire district in Sonoma County was formed last year and grew out of a yearslong dispute over tax money that Sea Ranch fire officials wanted to keep for services in their community. The North Sonoma Coast Fire Protection District, forged in a merger of Sea Ranch and Annapolis volunteer fire companies, is the latest test case for consolidation of departments, seen as one of the main ways to reform the county’s jumbled network of fire agencies. It is the first new district formed from volunteer companies in 20 years, with responsibility for emergency calls over 172 square miles of rugged terrain in the northwestern corner of the county. And so far, it appears to be a success.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Friday, March 24, 2017

Menlo Park fire district backs off plan to seize parcels for station expansion

Pushback from Belle Haven residents forced Menlo Park’s fire district to drop a plan to seize two residential properties to expand its station. About 50 residents packed Tuesday night’s meeting of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District, held inside a small classroom at its 300 Middlefield Road fire station. They opposed the fire station expansion plan and praised the family at 351 Terminal that would have been displaced as pillars of the community. They spoke of how the Hoermanns launched a Fourth of July block party on Terminal and regularly welcome neighbors into their home like extended family.
Mercury News

Update: Fresno terminates NCFPD service contract

City leaders in Fresno voted Thursday night to terminate the city's agreement to provide fire service for the North Central Fire Protection District bringing the partnership to an end after more than a decade. In December the City of Fresno will end their firefighting service for the 250-square-mile area of rural Fresno County west of the city that includes Kerman, Biola, and areas near Kearney Park. This was strictly an economic decision for Fresno city leaders. The city manager says Fresno stood to lose millions of dollars if they continued with this agreement to provide fire service to areas outside the city.
KGPE-TV CBS 47 Fresno

Beloved dog died in a fire; determined Santa Monica firefighter brought it back to life

California firefighters who spent 20 minutes performing mouth-to-snout resuscitation on a dog they rescued from a burning apartment are being hailed as heroes. The dog’s owner, 35-year-old Crystal Lamirande, had just returned to her Santa Monica apartment Tuesday when a neighbor yelled there was a fire. Lamirande says she frantically tried to save her dog, a 10-year-old Bichon Frise/Shih Tzu named Nalu, but she says the smoke was too thick. Moments later as firefighters arrived, she told them about Nalu. They quickly got the fire under control and pulled the lifeless dog from a bedroom.
Merced Sun-Star

LAFCO votes to disband Upland fire despite San Antonio Heights opposition

Despite heavy opposition from San Antonio Heights residents, the agency that oversees annexations in San Bernardino County unanimously voted to include the unincorporated community in a proposal to disband the Upland Fire Department. The annexation proposal would annex the Upland Fire Department and transfer fire station properties, employees, assets, obligations, as well as liabilities into San Bernardino County Fire and its Valley Service Zone. At the recommendation of Local Agency Formation Commission staff, the unincorporated community of San Antonio Heights will now be included in the Service Zone FP-5.
Ontario Inland Valley Bulletin

CalFire helicopter training near Angels Camp planned

The Cal Fire Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit will conduct a fire and training exercise in the use of a helitorch, an aerial burn-management tool, at the Whittle Vegetation Management Program site (VMP) west of Angels Camp next week. The training will begin Tuesday and conclude Friday. Each day, burns will be conducted between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. A helitorch is a fuel tank and flame emission gauge suspended from the bottom of a helicopter used to remove potential fuel from areas surrounding an advancing flame.
Sonora Union Democrat

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