A San Francisco firefighter died in a head-on car crash early Wednesday morning, officials said.
Around 5:30 a.m., Steven Pacatte was driving to work behind a Recology garbage truck along a foggy Occidental Road in Santa Rosa, California Highway Patrol officials said.
While traveling eastbound toward Piezzi Road, Pacatte attempted to pass the truck by driving his Chevrolet Silverado in the westbound lane and collided with an oncoming Chevrolet Suburban. The garbage truck hit Pacatte’s truck after the first collision, officials said. Pacatte had worked for the Fire Department for nearly three years at stations 3, 14 and 48, fire officials said. He had also recently provided mutual aid at last month’s Camp Fire in Butte County.
“Please keep Steven’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time,” the Fire Department said in a statement.
SF Gate: San Francisco Chronicle
The attorneys for the Ghost Ship defendants are asking the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office for an unusual move — to arrest the warehouse landlords and fire department officials for the deadly fire.
Attorneys for Derick Almena and Max Harris announced the motion to compel the arrests on Tuesday, asking for a laundry list of arrests that includes the Ghost Ship warehouse landlord Chor Ng and her two children, Eva and Kai, who served as building managers. Almena and Harris are awaiting trial on 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter each for the deaths of the people who perished in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire on Dec. 2, 2016.
Besides the landlord family, the list names several members of the Oakland Fire Department, including Capt. George Freelen, who testified in the case’s preliminary hearing last year that there was a high fire load at the warehouse when he and others entered inside.
East Bay Times
With four generations of fire-fighting in the family, Selma’s acting fire chief seemed the logical choice for the job.
City Manager Teresa Gallavan announced Dec. 5 that Rob Petersen has been appointed as Selma’s new fire chief as of Dec. 8. Chief Petersen has served the City of Selma for 18 years, including the past six months as the acting fire chief upon outgoing Chief Mike Kain’s retirement.
“We are proud to appoint Chief Petersen to this position,” Gallavan said. “[His] experience and expertise in fire operations and management, along with his passion for serving the City of Selma, will make him an outstanding leader for the department. Chief Petersen is team oriented with a vision that will help the Selma Fire Department expand and build upon its outstanding service to the residents of the City of Selma.”
The aerial firefighting capabilities of Santa Barbara County will take a big leap forward with the purchase of a used Sikorsky HH-60L Black Hawk helicopter from the National Guard.
County supervisors approved the purchase on a 5-0 vote waiving the competitive bid requirement, allowing the Fire Protection District to acquire the military-grade helicopter at a fraction of the cost of a new Black Hawk.
Third District Supervisor Joan Hartmann said she has a personal interest in the purchase because she was evacuated during the Windmill fire.
“The only reason our house didn’t burn down was the aircraft,” Hartmann said.
Interim Fire Chief Michael Dyer said the helicopter will cost less than $1.73 million, noting Cal Fire just purchased two new Black Hawks for between $20 million and $25 million each.
A possible burglar had to be rescued from the grease vent of a vacant Chinese restaurant in the Bay Area after being trapped there for two days, authorities said Wednesday.
Around 9:30 a.m., firefighters and deputies responded to a reported lockout in the 700 block of Bockman Road in San Lorenzo and heard a man moaning in the building, according to the Alameda County Fire Department.
The man explained he was stuck in the duct of the hood system above the stove, officials said.
A photo showed his head and body were coated in thick brown grease, his arms crossed over his head as he struggled within the small confines of the space.
More resources were sent to the vacant restaurant, and about 30 minutes later, the man was extricated from the grease vent.
KTLA-TV WB 5 Los Angeles
Fresno Fire is teaming up with Fresno police to see if three separate incidents are connected - two arsons and a drive by shooting all within a 6-month span.
Surveillance video, obtained by Fresno Fire investigators, shows the night this southeast Fresno home was targeted by arsonists.
Footage captured from two security cameras in the neighborhood show the moments a truck parked in front of the home on east Atchison was intentionally set on fire.
Shortly after the flash you see the suspects take off and neighbors run to the front door to alert the family.
Fresno Fire investigator Jay Tracy says this isn't the first time they've been called to the home.
"Two arson fires and a drive-by shooting it garnered a little bit more of our attention were working with the Fresno Police Department on the drive-by shooting incident," Tracy said.
KFSN-TV ABC 30 Frenso/Visalia