Sacto 9-1-1

The Sacramento Fire Department evacuated its building at 5770 Freeport Blvd. at around 11 a.m. Tuesday after a routine generator test malfunctioned, said Captain Niko King.

Dampers that were supposed to automatically close to prevent carbon monoxide exhaust from filling the building failed to shut, exposing employees on the second floor to the toxin.

Sacramento Fire Station 5 responded to the department's call for a hazardous materials team, said King. The Haz-Mat squad ventilated the building and started allowing employees to re-enter the building about 40 minutes after the evacuation.

Several employees demonstrated symptoms of exposure to elevated levels of carbon monoxide, and were treated on-site.

By Hudson Sangree

hsangree@sacbee.com

A fire that started in a trash can at Pioneer Elementary School caused damage to a classroom and restroom Sunday evening, the Twin Rivers Police Department said in a news release.

Firefighters were called at about 6 p.m. to the structure fire at 5816 Pioneer Way. Arson investigators also responded to "examine the suspicious fire," the news release said.

Investigators were reviewing surveillance videos but had not identified suspects, it said.

Anyone with information should call Twin Rivers police dispatch at (916) 566-2770.

By Hudson Sangree

hsangree@sacbee.com

Firefighters responded this afternoon to a report of suspicious package in Rio Linda, only to find that an Elk Grove chemistry teacher had left the package, which was wrapped in duct tape and had wires poking out, in the back of his pickup.

"Chemistry teachers ignite things a lot," said Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District Battalion Chief Eric Bridge. He said the package may have been part of a classroom demonstration.

The incident began when a tow truck driver hauled away the Ford F-250 pickup, which was parked on private land, Bridge said. The land owner had called to have it removed, he said.

As the tow-truck driver headed for an impound yard, he noticed the suspicious package in the back of the truck, Bridge said.

The driver pulled into a fire station on Rio Linda Boulevard to report the package, the battalion chief said.

Investigators spoke with the chemistry teacher, who described the package "to a T," Bridge said. They determined it did not represent a threat without having to use a bomb-squad robot, he said.

Fire crews have contained a 30-acre grass fire south of Folsom near White Rock Road, a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman said.

The blaze ignited just after 2 p.m., in a large field near the Prairie City State Vehicular Recreation Area, said CAL FIRE spokesman Daniel Berlant. It grew "pretty quickly," due in part to the dryness of the grass, but CAL FIRE and Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District crews were able to contain the fire within an hour, Berlant said.

A fire that burned 20 acres in a field of wheat stubble in Yolo County on Wednesday afternoon has been contained, an Esparto Fire Protection District official said.

Crews responded around 5 p.m., to the field near County Road 85 and Road 13, about six miles north of Capay, said district Fire Chief Barry Burns. Personnel from a half-dozen local fire districts and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection were able to contain the blaze within about an hour, Burns said.

No structures were involved and no injuries were reported. The field had already been harvested, so no crop was lost, Burns said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

A wildland fire that consumed 350 acres along the Yuba River near Smartsville was declared fully contained this morning.

Firefighters battled the smoky blaze all day Sunday. No structures were threatened.

Three engines and four hand crews were still on the scene about noon today.

By Debbie Arrington

darrington@sacbee.com

A brush fire that consumed more than 400 acres along the Yuba River near Smartsville in Yuba County should be near full containment Monday morning.

More than 175 firefighters battled the smoky blaze Sunday, using a helicopter and three water tenders, said Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant. By late afternoon, the fire was 60 percent contained, and attention was turned to mopping up unburned islands of fuel within its perimeter.

"We're making good progress," he said. "The burning operation put quite a lot of smoke out. We didn't want to leave anything within the perimeter that could still burn."

hazmat.jpg

A hazardous materials incident in south Sacramento that seemed under control early Wednesday afternoon became anything but hours later when a trailer holding up to 40 chemical substances burst into flames.

The fire was contained in less than 15 minutes, fire officials said, but not before a thick plume of dark smoke spread over the Mike & Son's Truck Repair yard near Elder Creek Road and Florin Perkins Road.

The daylong saga began around 8 a.m.when fumes started wafting from a tractor-trailer at the shipping yard.

The Sacramento Fire Department and Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District responded to the incident, which was declared a Level 3 hazmat situation. A Level 3 is the most severe category of hazardous materials incidents, occurring when officials must identify the material involved and a decontamination team is required.

Due to cutbacks of its hazmat team, the Sacramento Fire Department also called on the Roseville Fire Department to respond, said Sacramento Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Lloyd Ogan.

Crews ventilated the trailer and evacuated more than 50 nearby businesses, Ogan said.
It was determined that oil containing refrigerant had leaked from a container in the trailer and likely mixed with another chemical to create the fumes, said Sacramento Fire Department Assistant Chief Niko King. Three people were transported to a hospital for some "inhalation irritation," King said.

The situation seemed to be resolved around 1 p.m., when fire officials turned the cleanup over to Clean Harbors, a hazardous chemicals disposal company based in Massachusetts that was storing the trailer at Mike & Son's, Rexroad said.

However, Ogan said, officials believe that before the truck could be unloaded, two non-compatible chemicals came into contact and ignited a fire around 5 p.m.

Although Ogan said all of the substances in the truck were hazardous, he said officials had been unable to determine precisely what they were.

Crews were expected to remain on the scene throughout the night, sequestering the water used to battle the truck fire and ensuring that the materials did not flare up again, Ogan said.


Fire crews have contained a 80-acre grass fire in Placer County, but remain on scene this evening while a hay barn continues to burn, said a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The grass fire, which broke out shortly before 4:30 p.m. near Fiddyment and East Catlett roads, just west of Thunder Valley Casino, was contained around 6 p.m., said CAL FIRE spokesman Daniel Berlant.

A metal-sided hay barn was the only structure involved, and the hay was still burning at 7 p.m., Berlant said. A nearby house did not catch on fire and no injuries were reported, he said.

Personnel responded from CAL FIRE, Placer County Fire, and the Roseville, Rocklin, Lincoln and Pleasant Grove fire departments.

Berlant said fire crews would likely remain on scene throughout the evening, putting out hot spots and monitoring the barn.

The Folsom City Council has approved a new contract with the city's firefighters that includes pension reform.

At the Tuesday council meeting the council approved the new contract with Local 522 fire captains, engineers, firefighters and paramedics that will pay 5 percent of their salary toward the employee portion of PERS retirement beginning July 1. That amount will be increased to 9 percent next January.

folsomfire.JPGThree people, including a 6-year-old child, were burned in Folsom Monday night when a fire exploded during the removal of an SUV's gas tank.

Firefighters were called to the 100 block of Briarcliff Drive shortly after 9 a.m. When they arrived, firefighters found a Dodge Ram sport utility vehicle was ablaze, a fence was burning and a tree was engulfed in flames.

A two-alarm fire at a south Sacramento apartment complex caused major damage to two units before being contained Monday night.

Crews responded to reports of a fire at the complex at Stockton Boulevard and 66th Avenue, at about 9:30 p.m. The first crews to arrive found heavy fire in one second-floor apartment spreading to a second apartment, said Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District Battalion Chief Ron Denny.

A fire involving a barn and several vehicles on a rural Elk Grove property has been contained by fire crews, a Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department spokeswoman said.

The blaze was originally reported as a grass fire at about 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, in the 10600 block of Rau Road, said department Fire Chief Tracey Hansen. First arriving units also found a barn and nearby vehicles fully involved, and the primary residence on the property threatened, Hansen said.

A young couple's dog rescued them from a fire in their garage this morning at 6800 Leatherwood Way in North Highlands.

The couple discovered the fire after the dog's barking alerted them. They called the fire department around 2:30 a.m.

Fire crews extinguished the fire and prevented it from spreading it to the house.

The garage burned almost completely, causing around $50,000 in property damage, said Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District spokesman Scott Cockrum. A new vehicle was inside.

Cockrum said the fire was an accident, possibly the result of improperly stored gasoline.

A fire believed to have been started by a pottery kiln damaged the patio and green room of a home on San Nita Way on Sunday afternoon, officials said.

The Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District responded at 5:52 p.m. to a fire reported at 7450 San Nita Way, according to a written statement. The fire was extinguished within five minutes, with little damage to the rest of the house. No injuries were reported.

Officials said the homeowner, an 89-year-old woman, said that her her kiln may have started the fire.

WELLS JEFFREY_9238.jpgA firefighter was injured while putting out a garage fire in Carmichael near Dewey Drive this morning.

Firefighters responded at 8:05 a.m. after neighbors informed the owners of the home in the 6700 block of Ellsworth Circle that their garage was burning. The fire started in the garage and spread to the attic.

Firefighter Jeffery Wells was on the roof of the garage when it gave way. He fell through, sustaining injuries to his knees and burns on his neck and face. He was taken to the UC Davis Medical Center.

Wells is in fair condition, according to the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District.

No one else was injured.

Photo of firefighter Jeffery Wells courtesy of Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District.

A fire broke out at a home in Woodland on Wednesday night, damaging the garage and the interior of the residence but causing no injuries to the people inside the home, according to a Woodland Fire Department release.

Fire crews responded to the 1200 block of Eunice Drive at about 7:15 p.m., and found heavy fire in a single-car garage attached to a residence, according to the release. Crews found no extension of the fire into the residence and extinguished the blaze in the garage, the release states.

The interior of the residence sustained light smoke damage, according to the release. Four people in the home when the fire broke out escaped without injury.

The fire caused an estimated $50,000 of damage, the release states.

A two-alarm fire caused major damage to a home in Citrus Heights this morning.

The fire was reported about 7:15 a.m. at the home on Glen Canyon Court near Old Auburn Road and Twin Oaks Avenue. When Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District firefighters arrived the fire was well involved in the garage and the attic space above the garage.

Before firefighters could contain the blaze, the garage roof collapsed on two cars and the fire completely spread through the attic of the home. At one point explosions were heard.

An elderly man was hospitalized with burn injuries after being rescued from a house fire by Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District crews in Rancho Murieta on Tuesday, a Sac Metro Fire spokesman said.

Fire crews responded just after 6 p.m., to a report of a house fire in the 15000 block of Robles Grandes Drive in Rancho Murieta, said Sac Metro Fire Assistant Chief Dale Turner. The caller mentioned that an elderly man lived in the house, Turner said.

Upon arriving, firefighters found the garage of the house well-involved with fire. They searched the house and garage, located the man in the garage "unable to get himself out," and carried him outside, Turner said.

A fire caused an estimated $250,000 damage to a Woodland garage Monday evening.

The fire broke out about 6:30 p.m. at 1517 Midway Drive in the south part of town. When Woodland firefighters arrived heavy smoke and flames were coming from the detached three-car garage.

Sacramento Metro firefighters extinguished a two-alarm fire in a large house in Carmichael this morning.

The fire broke out about 4 a.m. at the home on Cenacle Lane where three people were living. All three were able to escape from the blaze after being alerted by a smoke-detector. One of the adults was in a wheelchair.

Firefighters said the fire began in a wall between the kitchen and the dining room. The fire eventually spread into the attic, said Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District Assistant Chief Dale Turner.

Sacramento firefighters responding to a house fire in south Sacramento on Monday night discovered a marijuana grow in the house, a Sacramento Fire Department spokesman said.

Fire crews found "a couple hundred plants at least" in the bedrooms and a bathroom of the two-story house in the 6700 block of Cunningham Way, said fire department spokesman Capt. Jon Burgess.

Sacramento police are trying to determine whether or not the grow is legal, Burgess said.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District crews extinguished a garage fire at a residence in southeast Sacramento County on Monday evening that left a teenager needing treatment for smoke inhalation, a fire district spokesman said.

The fire started at about 6:30 p.m., in the garage of a house in the 9700 block of Carmencita Avenue, said Sac Metro Fire spokesman Assistant Chief Scott Cockrum.

Occupants of the house went outside, noticed the fire and called authorities, Cockrum said.

By Carlos Alcalá and Darrell Smith
calcala@sacbee.com

A single car crash killed a Michigan man early today on Hedge Avenue, near Florin Road, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire officials reported.

The Sacramento Coroner's Office tonight identified the dead man as Moises Enrique Pigg, 18, of Ann Arbor, Mich.

Sac Metro crews responded to reports of a possible vehicle on fire at 2:19 a.m. in the 7200 block of Hedge Avenue.

Sacramento Fire Department Station 19 will hold an open house from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday.

The station, at 1700 Challenge Way near Cal Expo, will be the first of the city's 21 fire stations to participate in the department's third annual open house series.

The open houses offer an opportunity for people in the community to talk with members of the department, tour the station, and get some life safety and fire prevention tips. Educational materials also will be available to take home.

Light refreshments will be provided by fire station personnel and the firefighters union, Local 522.

Fire officials estimated today that a fire on Monday caused an estimated $140,000 damage to an Elk Grove residence.

The fire broke out in the 8700 block of Vytina Drive about 5:30 p.m. Monday. The first fire unit arrived on-scene in about 4 minutes to find a fire burning in an upstairs bedroom and hallway, according to a Cosumnes Fire District spokesman.

Fire crews poured water on the flames and cut a ventilation hole in the roof to release trapped smoke, heat and fire gases. The fire was extinguished in 15 minutes.

One resident has been taken to a hospital suffering from smoke inhalation as a result of a fire at a home in the 8700 block of Vytina Drive in Elk Grove.

John Michelini, deputy chief of the Cosumnes Fire Department, said that the fire, reported about 5:45 p.m., was confined to the second floor of the home.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Michelini said initial indications are that it was started by an unattended candle.

A 56-year-old woman has been arrested in connection with a fire this morning that damaged the Crestwood Manor psychiatric facility.

Wendy Vergeson, an occupant of the facility, was arrested a few hours after the fire on suspicion of arson and is being held in Sacramento County Jail, a Sacramento Fire Department news release states.

The fire broke out at 7:25 a.m. at the psychiatric facility at 2600 Stockton Blvd. It was contained to one room due to activation of the fire sprinkler system and fast action by firefighters, fire officials said.

nursing_home_fire.jpgSacramento Fire Department crews have contained a two-alarm fire that broke out this morning at a mental health care facility near the UC Davis Medical Center, a fire department spokesman said.

Fire crews responded shortly before 7:45 a.m., to the Crestwood Center in the 2600 block of Stockton Boulevard, said spokesman Capt. Jon Burgess.

They located fire in one of the facility's rooms, Burgess said. The building's sprinkler system had held the fire in check, allowing firefighters to get inside and extinguish the flames, he said.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Sacramento Metro firefighters assist the coroner as they look at the victims of a fatal fire in Stephen Drive. Andy Alfaro, Sacramento Bee.

The Sacramento County Coroner said the victims of an overnight fatal fire in North Highlands are a 37-year-old woman and an 8-year-old boy.

Coroner's deputies listed the victims as Laura Fernandez of North Highlands and Wilfred Villarruel of North Highlands.

It was unclear whether the two were related but Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District Assistant Chief Scott Cockrum said last night that they could be mother and son.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Sacramento Metro firefighters assist the coroner as they look at the victims of a fatal fire in Stephen Drive. Andy Alfaro, Sacramento Bee.

By Matt Kawahara
@mkawahara@sacbee.com

A house fire in North Highlands left two members of a five-person household dead Wednesday night.

The victims were believed to be a female adult and male juvenile -- possibly a mother and her child, said Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District Assistant Chief Scott Cockrum. Their identities were not immediately available.

Fire crews responded to the residence at 4061 block of Stephen Drive just before 8 p.m., and found the garage fully engulfed by flames, said Sac Metro Deputy Chief Brian Rice.

The Yolo County Coroner's office has released the name of the 72-year-old woman who died Monday in an apartment fire in Woodland.

She was identified as Sandra Kay McLane.

Woodland firefighters responded at 2:23 p.m. to a structure fire in one unit of the Colonial Terrace Senior Apartments at 59 West Lincoln Ave. Crews quickly extinguished the fire and found McLane in the front room of her apartment.

By Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

A 72-year-old woman died Monday afternoon in an apartment fire in Woodland, according to a Woodland Fire Department news release.

Woodland firefighters responded to a structure fire in one unit of the Colonial Terrace Senior Apartments at 59 West Lincoln Ave. at 2:23 p.m., according to the release. Crews quickly extinguished the fire and found the victim in the front room, the release states.

The fire did not spread to any of the other 47 units on three stories of the apartment complex, the release states. However, the complex was evacuated. The Red Cross is helping two residents who were displaced by the fire, and all other residents will be able to return to their apartments tonight, according to the release.

By Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

A Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District firefighter was hospitalized Thursday afternoon after he fell down a flight of stairs fighting a house fire in Sacramento's Arden-Arcade neighborhood, a fire district spokesman said.

Fire crews responded to the 1800 block of Geneva Place at 4:33 p.m., and found flames coming from a two-story house, said Sac Metro spokesman Capt. Christian Pebbles.

The one-alarm fire, which reportedly began in an upstairs bedroom, caused significant damage to the house before firefighters got it under control, Pebbles said.

By Carlos Alcalá
calcala@sacbee.com

Fire officials said a huge fire early this morning caused millions of dollars in damage at an auto body business on Stockton Boulevard at 65th Street.

No firefighters or civilians were injured, according to a press release from Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Capt. Christian Pebbles, who described the fire as "massive."

The fire was reported shortly after 1 a.m. at a commercial auto body parts facility, but Sacramento City and Sac Metro crews arrived to find flames coming through the roof.

By Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

A fast-moving fire destroyed an abandoned McDonald's in south Sacramento late tonight.

The fire was likely started by a person, either accidentally or on purpose, because the building did not have power or utilities, said Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District Battalion Chief Patrick Ellis.

The boarded-up building, on Stockton Boulevard near Florin Road, was popular with transients, Ellis said.

sponable.JPGBy Kim Minugh
kminugh@sacbee.com

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District officials announced this morning that Chief Bill Sponable will be stepping down as chief effective April 1.

Officials characterized it as a mutual decision, though the chief said in his brief remarks to reporters that he had hoped to stay in his position longer.

"This process has been extremely challenging for us all," Sponable said, referring to the district's efforts to remain financially viable in a poor economy. "Relations have become extremely strained."

By Denny Walsh and Sam Stanton
dwalsh@sacbee.com


Alexander Piggee pleaded guilty today to setting the massive Oct. 21 arson blaze at the Westfield Galleria in Roseville and likely will face 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on May 24.

The 24-year-old Sacramento man pleaded guilty to two arson counts in U.S. District Court in Sacramento this morning, one involving the $55 million Galleria blaze and the other for a minor fire he set at a North Highlands Walmart earlier that day.

Piggee could have faced up to 20 years in prison on each count, but federal prosecutors say they plan to ask that he be sentenced to two five-year terms to be served consecutively. Piggee also has agreed to plead guilty in Sacramento Superior Court to setting a blaze that damaged his grandmother's Oak Park home in the weeks before the Galleria fire. The District Attorney's office has agreed to recommend that any sentence he receive in that case be served concurrently with his federal time.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Three unconscious cats in a smoke-filled Woodland house were revived by rescuers this morning.

Woodland firefights extinguished a blaze in a garage and house in the 1200 block of McKinley Avenue. All the people staying there escaped unharmed.

However, they reported three felines remained inside, and when rescuers found them they appeared lifeless.

By Carlos Alcala
calcala@sacbee.com

Sacramento fire crews putting out a fire in one unit of a southeast neighborhood duplex discovered marijuana growing in the second unit.

Police responded to the 6400 block of Cougar Drive shortly before 1 p.m. Friday to investigate and were there when the unit's occupant arrived, the Sacramento Police Department activity log shows.

The occupants, however, provided proper paperwork for marijuana cultivation, police reported.

Instead of arresting the growers, officers left and notified code enforcement to look into what they believed to be improper wiring used to supply power.

Call The Bee's Carlos Alcala, (916) 321-1987.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A 98-year-old woman died this morning in a hospital as a result of injuries suffered Thursday in a fire in the 7300 block Conrad Drive in south Sacramento.

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office website identifies the woman as Mui Sat Sy.

Sacramento County Metropolitan Fire District officials said the fire started on the outside of the house and fire investigators have been unable to rule out barbecue cooking equipment as the source.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

As part of its annual "Check and Change" program which takes place during spring and fall time changes, the Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department will distribute nearly 1,000 new batteries to Galt residents for use in home smoke detectors.

Area Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, with the help of the Galt Rotary Club and Galt Community Training, will deliver the free batteries and fire-safety brochures to homes in Galt neighborhoods beginning at 10 a.m. March 12.

Fire officials encourage residents to change the batteries in smoke detectors at the beginning and end of Daylight Saving Time.

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Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District firefighters prepare to mop up after a woman was rescued from a fire on Nomad Way. Bee Staff Photo by Hector Amezcua.

By Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

Firefighters rescued an elderly woman from her burning home in south Sacramento this afternoon, a spokesman for the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District said.

At 2:24 p.m., fire crews responded to a single-story residence in the 7300 block of Conrad Drive near Nomad Way that showed heavy fire coming from the interior, said Capt. Christian Pebbles, Metro Fire spokesman.

Crews encountered heavy security bars and doors that delayed their entry, Pebbles said. Upon gaining entry, they found one woman in a bedroom and transported her out of the house.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

The Sacramento Fire Department is recommending that an Oak Park building that burned this morning be knocked down, a department spokesman said.

The warehouse-type brick building at 3216 Martin Luther King Boulevard was damaged by fire about 6:30 a.m.

Firefighters entering the building were met by a man who may have been living in what was supposed to be a vacant structure.

By Bee Staff

Gasoline vapor ignited by accident during repair work, causing a fire today that burned a gas station in Elk Grove, fire investigators said.

The Cosumnes Community Services Fire said the "source of ignition ... couldn't be determined." A mechanical source or spark from a metal jack are possibilities, the fire district said in a statement.

Firefighters battled the blaze at the Shell station at the corner of Elk Grove Boulevard and Elk Grove Florin Road after the fire broke out shortly before noon.

Brown outs.JPGBy Kim Minugh
clocke@sacbee.com

Sacramento area fire officials gathered this morning to announce they have been awarded $11 million in federal grant money - funds that will pay for 51 additional firefighters.

Most significantly, the grant will allow the Sacramento Fire Department to hire 27 firefighters and restore the two companies that have been "browned out" as a result of budget cuts.

The city department is receiving $5.6 million, according to authorities.

RP BEE FIRE LOADING DOCKS.JPGBy Bill Lindelof and Tony Bizjak
blindelof@sacbee.com

A small fire in the press room of the Sacramento Bee has been extinguished, city firefighters reported. The 8:45 a.m. fire forced evacuation of the building at 21st and Q streets.

The fire appeared to have been caused by welding work on new equipment being installed in the press room. Fire official said smoke worked its way into the building's heating and air conditioning system, spreading smoke to other areas of the building.

"We have it completely contained," Battalion Chief Rick Rethford said. "There have been no injuries."

By Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

A fire is burning this evening in an industrial building on Fruitridge Road between Florin Perkins Road and Watt Avenue.

Sacramento Fire Department units are concentrating on keeping the fire from spreading to other buildings, a fire spokesman said.

No one was injured. The building was unoccupied when the fire broke out.

By Denny Walsh
dwalsh@sacbee.com

A Mono County couple have paid the government $1 million for damages from a fire they accidentally caused that scorched 7,435 acres of the Inyo National Forest, according to U. S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner.

The Sawmill Fire ignited on Sept. 14, 2006, after Jonathan and Penny Bourne burned brush in a fire pit on their private property that was not fully extinguished and embers blew into dry fuel, Wagner said.

He said it cost the government more than $1 million to suppress the blaze.

"This recovery is the most recent in the government's continued efforts to hold individuals and companies accountable for behavior that jeopardizes and damages the national forests," Wagner said. "These are cherished resources, particularly in California."

Call The Bee's Denny Walsh, (916) 321-1189.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Firefighters were kept busy when two fires at the same time broke out in two separate duplexes -- both started by unattended candles.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District firefighters arrived at 12:22 a.m. to a fire burning on one side of a duplex at 10988 Hirschfield Way in Rancho Cordova. Firefighters rescued a woman who was trapped between a side fence and the home when she tried to escape the blaze.

It took 30 firefighters about 12 minutes to bring the fire under control. A cat and a dog died in the blaze.

By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com

An elderly woman was rescued from her burning home in Sacramento's Northgate area this evening, the Fire Department reported.

The woman, who wasn't identified, was taken to UC Davis Medical Center after being pulled from her home on Potomac Avenue.

Officials said two dogs were also treated for smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire, reported at 6:47 p.m., is under investigation. Crews said they couldn't confirm the presence of a working smoke alarm in the home.

Call The Bee's Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066.

By Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

A family has been displaced after a fire broke out in their south Sacramento townhome this morning, Sacramento firefighters said today.

The Sacramento Fire Department responded at 8:02 a.m. to the blaze in the 7600 block of La Mancha Way near Mack Road, said department spokesman Capt. Jonathan Burgess.

The two-alarm fire was active when firefighters arrived, Burgess said. It was confined to the one townhouse, but that unit was a total loss, Burgess said.

By Carlos Alcalá
calcala@sacbee.com

Police had to restrain a man trying to re-enter his burning apartment after an explosion rocked a College Glen apartment complex today, Sacramento Fire Department officials reported.

The Fire Department received multiple calls of an explosion at the Stanford Garden Apartments on Notre Dame Drive.

Crews from Sacramento Fire and Sacramento Metro Fire arrived to find flames blowing out of an upstairs window.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A large house listed for sale at $1.2 million has suffered major fire damage this morning in Pilot Hill, El Dorado County.

The home on 25 wooded acres in the 5600 block of Salmon Falls Road was reported on fire shortly before 2 a.m. The 5,900-square foot home was still burning at 7 a.m.

Details on how the home caught fire were not immediately available. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection firefighters and other crews were on scene of the house fire.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A three-alarm fire caused extensive damage to an apartment building in Woodland Tuesday night, in the same block where a fire Sunday damaged an apartment complex.

Firefighters were called to the two-story structure at 817 Fifth St. at around 10 p.m., according to a Woodland Fire Department news release.

When firefighters arrived, heavy smoke was pouring from second-floor units. Crews attempted to find the source of the smoke on the second floor, breaking into the attic.

The fire was found and extinguished in walls and a first-floor bathroom. Damage was estimated at $100,000. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The fire occurred in the same block of Fifth Street as another blaze that damaged an apartment complex early Sunday morning. That fire destroyed three units and heavily damaged the remaining three.

None of the 14 residents were injured. Damage was estimated at $500,000, according to a Fire Department news release.

Fire crews arrived at the scene at 3 a.m. and found an attic fire.

The investigation of both fires is ongoing, but Rick Sander, interim fire chief, said in an e-mail that the two fires are not believed to be related. He said the cause of Tuesday night's fire likely was accidental.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A three-alarm fire caused extensive damage to an apartment building in Woodland Tuesday night.

Firefighters were called to the two-story structure at 817 Fifth St. at around 10 p.m. When firefighters arrived, heavy smoke was pouring from second-floor units. Crews attempted to find the source of the smoke on the second floor, breaking into the attic to remove smoke and heat.

The fire was eventually found and extinguished in walls and a first-floor bathroom. Damage loss was estimated at $100,000. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Hudson Sangree
hsangree@sacbee.com

Woodland police suspect a 102-year-old woman was the inadvertent target of a firebombing late Sunday night.

Georgia Traynham was with her caretaker at her home in the 500 block of West Keystone Avenue when someone threw a Molotov-cocktail type device through her front window just before midnight, said Cpl. Ron Cordova of the Woodland police department.

When officers arrived they found a neighbor trying to extinguish the fire with a garden hose. They forced their way into the house and rescued the women, both of whom suffered smoke inhalation, Cordova said. Police did not identify the caretaker.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and alerted police they had found what appeared to be components of a homemade firebomb, he said.

Georgia Traynham, born in 1908, is the mother of Woodland Daily Democrat sports editor Gary Traynham.

Cordova said police have no reason to believe she was the intended target.

"She fell victim to somebody who decided to throw a device at her home," Cordova said.

The suspected arson is under investigation, he said.

Call The Bee's Hudson Sangree, (916) 321-1191.

By Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

Fire crews extinguished a fire on a light-rail train this morning, but their first attempt was foiled when the train drove away, a Sacramento Fire Department spokesman said.

Crews responded to the Regional Transit light-rail station at Florin Perkins Road and Folsom Boulevard this morning after receiving reports of an RT car on fire, said Fire Department spokesman Capt. Jonathan Burgess.

All passengers exited the train, Burgess said. Passengers had not been exposed to flames or smoke inside the rail car, he said.

Crews began to assess the fire, which was located on the undercarriage of the car and was producing heavy black smoke, Burgess said.

As firefighters were standing alongside the car, it drove away, Burgess said.

"It sounds like there was some sort of communication error or breakdown," he said.

Fire crews followed the train for nearly a mile and a half before it stopped again, he said.

"During that time, our fire companies were in pursuit," Burgess said.

The train stopped at the Starfire station near La Riviera Drive and Folsom Boulevard.

Crews extinguished the fire and called a Level 2 hazmat situation because of the electrical equipment involved in the fire, including the car's battery and generator, Burgess said.

The car likely started moving again after it originally stopped because it is standard procedure to tow a car with an overheating resistor grid to a location where it can be inspected, said Regional Transit spokeswoman Alane Masui.

The mechanic moving the car may have been under the impression that the electrical equipment under the car was smoking without a fire having been sparked, Masui said.

The mechanic stopped at the Starfire station after the Fire Department caught up with him, Masui said.

Fire crews extinguished the blaze and light-rail service resumed around 9 a.m.

Call The Bee's Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Smoke detectors are credited for alerting residents of an Elk Grove home to an early-morning fire.

Cosumnes Fire Department firefighters responded to a report of a fire at a home in the 8600 block of Mannington Street at 3:35 a.m. today. The residents were awakened by smoke detectors and found smoke in the house and a fire burning in the wall and ceiling above their fireplace.

Although firefighters had some difficulty finding the fire that was burning behind a wall and in the crawl space above the ceiling, they were able to bring it under control in 20 minutes, according to a fire department news release.

Fire officials said the smoke detectors allowed the family time to escape without injury and helped reduce the damage caused by the spreading fire.

Deputy Fire Chief John Michelini said this is the second time in recent weeks that Cosumnes firefighters have responded a fire in which smoke detectors were responsible for preventing a possible loss of life.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Cynthia Hubert
chubert@sacbee.com

A mobile home fire killed one person in North Highlands this evening, fire officials said.

Firefighters responded to a blaze at around 6 p.m. in the 4800 block of Liberty Bell Lane and found one person dead, said Brian Rice, assistant chief for the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District.

The cause of the fire, which caused heavy damage to the home's interior, has yet to be determined, he said.

Arson investigators were on the scene Saturday night.

The victim was not identified, pending notification of next of kin.

Call The Bee's Cynthia Hubert, (916) 321-1082.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A fire quickly spread from the first floor to the upper story of an old house under renovation in midtown Sacramento early this morning.

When firefighters arrived to 619 18th St. at about 1:30 a.m, heavy smoke was pouring from the vacant residential structure.

The fire spread to an upstairs apartment and attic, resulting in a second alarm to be called.

The fire was contained to portions of downstairs, upstairs and attic in the three-unit structure, according to a fire department press release. All units were vacant and construction equipment in the downstairs apartment indicated the building was under renovation.

No cause has been determined for the fire.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A fire last night swept through a long-standing Italian restaurant outside of Colfax.

Giovanni's, about a mile off the freeway on the outskirts of Colfax, was heavily damaged in the blaze that was reported at 10:20 p.m. Crews are still at the scene.

The restaurant dates back almost 70 years to when Gulio and Josephine Panelli moved to the small community of Shady Glen on Highway 40, then the main route over the mountains.

The couple bought an auto camp and began serving food and beverages. After Gulio died in 1945, according to the restaurant website, Josephine continued to serve Italian food and the spot was commonly called "Josie's Place."

Food service was discontinued in the early 1960s but the restaurant was reopened in 1982 by their son John Panelli. He called it "Giovanni's," which is Italian for John.

The cause of the fire was not immediately available.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Chelsea Phua
cphua@sacbee.com

A body was discovered in a burning car Monday night in the South Land Park area of Sacramento, police officials said.

Sacramento Fire Department personnel responded to a report of a vehicle fire just before 7 p.m. in the parking lot of the Holiday Villa restaurant at South Land Park Drive and 58th Avenue, said Sacramento Police Officer Konrad von Schoech. When firefighters arrived, they discovered someone inside a Honda Accord. They tried to pull the person out but couldn't, von Schoech said. The body was burned beyond recognition, he said.

Officials said they don't know how the fire started or if the person died before the fire started or because of the fire.

John Thomas, 19, who lives in the nearby Land Park Villa apartment complex, said after the fire started, "The flames were way too high. You couldn't get near the car."

Arson investigators and homicide investigators are trying to determine the circumstances that led to the fire and the person's death.

Call The Bee's Chelsea Phua, (916) 321-1132.

motel_fire.jpg

A fire at a vacant Rancho Cordova motel on Folsom Boulevard has been brought under control.

Firefighters were in the mop up stage of the blaze an hour after the 10 a.m. fire broke out at the abandoned 1st Value Inn near Mather Field Road.

The fire struck several units on the second floor of the structure.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

In Placer County Superior Court today, the lawyer for suspected Westfield Galleria arsonist won a judge's order to have his client's mental state evaluated.

As expected, Johnny Griffin III asked Judge Colleen Nichols to suspend criminal proceedings so psychologists can analyze the 23-year-old.

"I had some questions concerning his mental stability. The court, based on that, agreed to appoint doctors to evaluate him to make an assessment," Griffin said. "I believe that he has substantial mental health issues."

Griffin said he had obtained documents from "at least four" mental heath facilities to support his claim.

Prior to the 2 p.m. hearing beginning, Piggee looked disinterested, tilting his head to the side and closing his eyes, as if he was taking a nap. Later he lightly bumped his head against the courtroom wall.

The young man is accused of starting last week's fire that severely damaged the Roseville shopping center, the Sacramento region's largest mall.

Facing five felony counts, Piggee is accused of walking into the GameStop at the Galleria on Oct. 21, telling the clerk he had a bomb and gun then setting fire to the store. The fire later burst out of control, forcing the mall to shut down for a week before some shops were reopened this morning.

The charges against Piggee include: aggravated arson, arson of a structure, two counts of threats to commit crimes resulting in death, and one count of burglary. He also faces a special allegation of using an accelerant to commit arson.

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

By Queenie Wong
qwong@sacbee.com

Traffic is starting to clear up on eastbound Interstate 80 after an early morning big rig fire blocked multiple lanes in Roseville.

All lanes are now open except for one off ramp lane west of Taylor Road.

The Roseville Fire Department and the California Highway Patrol arrived at the scene shortly before 4 a.m. when they received reports of a tire on the truck catching fire.

The fire fully engulfed the truck, but no one inside the vehicle was injured.

An earlier version of this story mistakenly said the accident was in Auburn.

Call The Bee's Queenie Wong, (916) 321-1008.

By Sam Stanton and Dale Kasler
sstanton@sacbee.com

Some Westfield Galleria stores, including Nordstrom, may be able to open in the next several days, a Westfield official said this afternoon.

Meanwhile, Roseville authorities revealed they will be reviewing whether the mall sprinkler system was ordered turned off at some point during Thursday's fire.

Questions have lingered about how the fire took over the mall after it initially appeared to be doing little damage once the sprinkler system was activated Thursday morning.

Witnesses at the scene reported seeing little smoke until after noon, when the fire suddenly erupted into a huge blaze.

Roseville police kept firefighters from going into the mall to fight the fire over fears that a bomb was inside, and authorities have said they have no information on whether the sprinkler system was shut down at one point.

Dennis Mathisen, division chief for Roseville Fire, said in response to reporters' questions at a press conference at the Galleria that determining what happened with the sprinklers would be investigated.

"We've been hearing some of the information, too," Mathisen said. "As with any investigation our ears and eyes are wide open (for) any information that comes our way ... There have been no final determinations that have been made."

Mathisen added that "we can say that the sprinkler system was activated," but would not elaborate.

Roseville police Lt. Michael Doane also said he could not address the issue. "All of that is being reviewed right now," he said.

Officials have said the mall may not be able to reopen until late November, but mall general manager Gavin Farnam said today that the mall can be reopened in phases, beginning in "several days" with the opening of Nordstrom and some other stores.

He did not elaborate, but Roseville public works director Rob Jensen said he believed 25 to 30 percent of the Galleria's stores may soon reopen.

"It's a good number of stores that will be open within the week," Jensen said.

Call The Bee's Sam Stanton, (916) 321-1091.

By Queenie Wong
qwong@sacbee.com

A man who died at a hospital after firefighters found him at a house fire yesterday morning in the 4000 block of Galbrath Avenue has been identified as 51-year-old Zachary Hood, according to Sacramento County Coroner's Office online records.

Hood was transported to the Mercy San Juan Hospital "under CPR," but did not survive, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District spokesman Capt. Christian Pebbles.

At 5:06 a.m., firefighters arrived at the house south of Antelope Road to find it "well involved with fire and threatening adjacent homes," he said.

The fire started in the kitchen area and the cause is still under investigation.

Call The Bee's Queenie Wong, (916) 321-1008.

By Bee Staff

A man died at a hospital after he was found this morning in a house fire in the 4000 block Galbrath Avenue, a Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District spokesman said.

At 5:06 a.m., firefighters arrived at the house south of Antelope Road to find it "well involved with fire and threatening adjacent homes," said Capt. Christian Pebbles.

Firefighters found an unidentified man, who was transported to Mercy San Juan Hospital "under CPR," Pebbles said.

The fire victim did not survive, Pebbles said.

It took more than 40 firefighters 25 minutes to bring the fire under control, he said.

The fire started in the kitchen area and the cause is still under investigation.

Follow updates to this developing news story here.

By Matt Kawahara, Bill Lindelof, Ed Fletcher, Dale Kasler and Sam Stanton
sstanton@sacbee.com

A fresh plume of heavy black smoke is pouring from the Roseville Galleria this afternoon as police continue to try and determine whether a backpack left there during a barricade situation this morning contained any explosives.

There was no immediate word on what caused the fresh smoke, but Roseville officials say the suspect in the siege of the mall has been taken to the Roseville city jail.

The suspect's name has not yet been released, but the incident ended with no injuries to customers or employees.

The drama began this morning after a man in his early to mid-20s walked into the GameStop store on the second floor and began talking incoherently to clerks, and then ordered them out.

The suspect apparently set a fire inside the mall after it was evacuated, but the mall's sprinkler system appeared to have suppressed portions of the fire after a period during which a large plume of smoke billowed from the mall, the largest in the Sacramento region.

Police and firefighters delayed entering the GameStop store where a fire apparently was set because of concerns over the backpack.

Officials said the man took over the store after telling the clerks something about his sister being held captive.

He then ordered the GameStop workers out, sparking the evacuation and closure of the mall.

The mother of the GameStop manager said she spoke to her son after the mall evacuation to make certain everyone was all right.

"I called him right away," Norma Delgado told The Bee. "The store was evacuated and he's doing fine."

Delgado said her son told her that the suspect came in and ordered workers to leave.

"He didn't tell me much, he just told me he was ordered to get out, and he did," she said. "I'm still a little shaky."

Misty Briglia, who works inside the Macy's next to the GameStop, said workers initially were told not to alarm customers or let them know precisely what was going on until everyone was ordered to evacuate at about 11:15 a.m.

"I'm a little freaked out," she said.

The evacuation led to a massive response to the mall, a sprawling 10-year-old center that is one of the area's top shopping destinations.

Police and fire units surrounded the buildings while shoppers and customers moved away from the mall as smoke billowed overhead.

It was not immediately clear whether the suspect, who could be seen handcuffed and being questioned by officers sitting on a mall bench, was armed.

Reports that shots had been fired were dismissed by Roseville police, who said the sound was from a non-lethal device being used to break a window.

The Galleria has transformed Roseville into one of the retail hubs of the Sacramento area.

Not only has it imported such upscale merchants as Tiffany and Louis Vitton, it's also sparked the development of several shopping centers in the adjacent area. Last February Hyatt opened a hotel next door.

In addition, the mall serves as "home court" for the Sacramento Capitals team tennis franchise.

A $240 million expansion, concluded in November 2008, brought 100 more stores to the mall and signified the Galleria's ability to persevere in a difficult economy. It also irritated Sacramento city officials, who accused owner Westfield Corp. of lavishing attention on the Roseville mall while neglecting the company's Downtown Plaza.

The incident sparked heightened security measures at Arden Fair Mall, where Sacramento police came out to patrol the parking areas to make certain there were no problems.

Arden Fair security manager Steve Reed said he monitored the situation at the Galleria through law enforcement and media contacts, but that there were no problems at his mall today.

"Obviously, our main concern is the safety of the customers," Reed said. "We heightened our patrols, made them more frequent and actually had law enforcement on the property patrolling today because of this incident."

Ironically, Reed said, he began his day at 6 a.m. by distributing information from the U.S. Department of homeland Security on how merchants and security should respond to such an incident. Malls typically have extensive security procedures and surveillance devices, and Reed said they train regularly to respond to problems.

Call The Bee's Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015.



RP FIRE FOOD BANK.JPG

foodbank.gifBy Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.comA four-alarm fire ripped through a midtown food bank and offices of the Episcopal church early this morning.

The two buildings on 27th Street near Capitol Avenue were heavily damaged, especially the River City Food Bank. The food bank serves more than 36,000 people every year.

About 8,000 pounds of food was in the food bank when the fire broke out.

"We believe that food is gone but we have not been able to go into the building," said Lesley Miller, spokeswoman for the food bank.

The fire did not harm nearby Trinity Cathedral, the cathedral for the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California.

The blaze, which is under investigation, broke out about 1:45 a.m. at the food bank. The fire spread to the diocesan offices, eventually going to four alarms with 104 firefighters responding.

Flames shot 20 to 30 feet into the air and it took more than an hour to bring the blaze under control, said Capt. Jonathan Burgess, spokesman for the Sacramento Fire Department.

"The food bank was pretty much a complete loss," said Burgess.

The food bank is not operated by the church, although it receives support from many congregations. Started by St. Paul's Episcopal it was headquartered at Trinity Cathedral at one time.

Until 1997, the food bank was affiliated with Episcopal Community Services. But for more than a decade the food bank has been independent, providing emergency food and shelter.

The diocesan office building suffered damage to the attic and rooms upstairs. Downstairs rooms were in good condition, except for water damage, Burgess said.

Two people from a nearby apartment were evacuated but then later allowed to go back to their residence.

Several people reported the fire, which is under investigation.

Firefighters had a tough time breaking through the ceiling to get to the fire in the attic of the food bank. That forced firefighters to pull out and pour water onto the two-story building from the outside.

"Firefighters did a good job stopping it," said Burgess. "Flame was 20-30 feet in the air from the food bank."

Anyone who wants to help the food bank replenish its supplies with the holidays approaching, is encouraged to donate online at rivercityfoodbank.org.

Photo caption: Firefighters mop at the River City Food Bank in Sacramento on Thursday morning after a four-alarm fire ripped through the food bank and offices of the Episcopal church. Photo by Randy Pench.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Two fires within a month at the same Stockton Boulevard upholstery shop in Colonial Heights are under investigation, fire officials said.

This morning a two-alarm fire broke out at the shop in the 4600 block of Stockton Boulevard. The blaze is considered suspicious, according to the Sacramento City Fire Department.

Firefighters responded to the same location on Sept. 21 when a three-alarm fire heavily damaged the upholstery shop and spread to an adjacent glass business.

Today's fire was contained to the upholstery shop, which had been fenced off after the September fire.

Today's fire is considered suspicious because electricity and gas were not connected to the building and nobody was allowed to go into the structure, a Fire Department spokesman said.

Video caption: Sacramento City Fire Captain Jason Hemler discusses the fire. Video by Randy Pench.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

rcb_saunders.standalone.prod_affiliate.4.jpgExpect some traffic congestion today between Sacramento State and Cal Expo associated with firefighters paying their respects to a fallen comrade.

James Saunders, a 22-year veteran of the department, died Thursday morning at Mercy San Juan Medical Center. Fire officials said Saunders suffered a major heart attack on Oct. 2 while fighting a grass fire near Haggin Oaks Golf Course. He was 52 years old.

A funeral is being held at Sacramento State this morning. Services will include a ceremonial last ring of a fire bell and a missing man fly-over.

At about 2:15 p.m. the service will end and 100 fire engines and other vehicles will leave the parking lot for a reception at Cal Expo. The procession will travel down College Town Drive, head north on Howe Avenue and west on Arden Way to Exposition Boulevard before entering the Main Gate of Cal Expo.

Sac Metro Fire extended its thanks in a press release for the public's understanding for any traffic delays.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

Photo caption: Sac Metro firefighters hang an American flag at Hornet Stadium in preparation for the traditional line of duty death fire service Firefighter James Saunders at the stadium on Tuesday. Saunders died while fighting a fire in Sacramento on Oct. 7. (Photo by Renee C. Byer/rbyer@sacbee.com)

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A grass fire that started around 4 p.m. west of Roseville was reported 40 percent contained at 100 acres about 5:30 p.m.

Daniel Berlant said the grass fire was near a residential area at Walerga Road and Bridgestone Crescent Court.

Firefighters have been kept busy this afternoon responding to grass fires around the Sacramento region.

In addition to the Roseville-area fire, Berlant said Cal Fire dispatched two strike teams of five engines each to two grass fires in Yuba County, one at Grand and Linda avenues in the Linda area, and the other at Highway 65 and 40 Mile Road near Wheatland.

Because of gusty winds, red flag fire warnings have been in effect this afternoon.

Berlant said the strongest winds have been reported between Dixon and the Bay Area.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A grass fire that began about 4 p.m. on Roseville's western edge burned a couple of fences, but firefighters were able to prevent damage to homes.fire.jpg

Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, reported shortly before 8 p.m. that the fire was 70 percent contained and full containment was expected by morning.

The fire initially was estimated to have burned about 100 acres, but after mapping the area from the air, Berlant said, that figure was reduced to 56 acres.

With homes bordering the fire on two sides, the city of Roseville sent automated phone messages to area residents about 5 p.m. advising evacuations, but then rescinded the advisory. Berlant said the fire was halted about 200 feet from some property lines.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Firefighters were kept busy throughout the afternoon responding to grass fires around the Sacramento region.

In addition to the Roseville-area fire, Berlant said Cal Fire dispatched two strike teams of five engines each to two grass fires in Yuba County, one at Grand and Linda avenues in the Linda area, and the other at Highway 65 and 40 Mile Road near Wheatland.

Because of gusting winds, red flag fire warnings were in effect throughout the afternoon and evening. Berlant said the strongest winds have been reported between Dixon and the Bay Area.

Photo credit: Paul Kitagaki Jr., The Sacramento Bee

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Carlos Alcalá
calcala@sacbee.com

Sacramento Metro Fire quickly contained a quarter-acre grass fire today in the American River Parkway on the heels of another parkway fire that injured two firefighters Friday.

The new fire, of unknown origin, broke out near Raldina Court in Carmichael and was fought by grass fire crews and a helicopter, said Capt. Christian Pebbles.

It was reported around 12:30 p.m. Saturday, less than a day after another fire near Sunrise Boulevard.

In Friday's blaze, one firefighter injured his ribs falling down a steep bank and another suffered heat exhaustion, but no one was injured today and there were no losses to property.

There are no strong winds to fan the blazes this weekend, but fire officials warn that dry weather and fuel mean that there is still significant wildfire danger.

Call The Bee's Carlos Alcalá, (916) 321-1987.

By Carlos Alcalá
calcala@sacbee.com

Sacramento Metro Fire officials are reminding area residents that wildfires are still a hazard, in light of a blaze Friday that threatened homes and sent two firefighters to the hospital.

The fire started in the American River Parkway near Sunrise Boulevard around 3 p.m.

In the course of fighting the fire, one firefighter fell down a steep cliff face and injured his ribs while another suffered heat exhaustion, according to a release issued by Capt. Christian Pebbles. Both injured firefighters were treated and released.

The fire occupied 30 firefighters and took nearly an hour to bring under control.

Although the blaze threatened homes atop the ridge at Villa Court, there were no homes damaged.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Call The Bee's Carlos Alcalá, (916) 321-1987.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District firefighter taken to a hospital Sunday night after fighting a small grass fire at Haggin Oaks Golf Course has died.

SAUNDERS JAMES_5278 copy.jpgJim Saunders (left), 52, suffered a "cardiac event" while working on the fire.

Saunders, a 22-year department veteran, was treated at the scene and then taken to Mercy San Juan Medical Center. Saunders was taken off life-support at 1:50 a.m. today.

His liver and both kidneys were donated for transplant and will benefit three other people, according to a news release from Metro Fire.

Saunders, a Navy veteran, is survived by his wife, Holly, and adult children, Erik and Rachel.

Saunders was assigned to Engine Company 101 in the Arcade area.

According to a report last year by the National Fire Protection Association, sudden cardiac death is the leading cause of on-duty firefighter fatalities in the United States.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Nine people were displaced from their residences after a fire broke out early this morning in the garage of a Rocklin fourplex.

Fire Chief Bill Mikesell said the fire was reported at 3:34 a.m. in the 6100 block of Merrywood Drive. It started in a four-car garage.

The garage and two vehicles inside were a total loss, but Mikesell said firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading to the living quarters.

Nine people were in the units when the fire started and all were able to get out safely. Mikesell said one resident was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

"Any time you have a structure fire in a residence at this time you are always very, very thankful when quick action of neighbors or firefighters prevents major injuries or death," the fire chief said.

Mikesell said residents and witnesses are being interviewed, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The American Red Cross is assisting residents with emergency shelter, food and comfort items. Mikesell said the residents were allowed into their units to retrieve clothing and some personal items, but the building must be inspected to determine whether the fire damage to the garage has affected the structural integrity of the residential units. As of late Tuesday afternoon, he said, gas and electrical services had not been restored.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A sleeping Elk Grove resident was awakened by a smoke detector today that was triggered when fire erupted in his apartment.

Cosumnes Fire Department firefighters were called to 10099 Elk Grove-Florin Road about 11:50 p.m. Sunday to a fire in the a second-floor apartment.

The resident had been awakened by the sound of a smoke detector to find a fast-growing fire in his kitchen. He fled the apartment and notified an adjacent tenant.

Firefighters were able to control the flames in 10 minutes. The resident of the damaged apartment was transported to a hospital for smoke inhalation.

"This is a great example of how effective smoke detectors are at reducing loss of life from fire," said Deputy Fire Chief John Michelini.

Jennifer Rubin, public education officer for the Cosumnes Fire Department, said that October is fire prevention month.

"It is a good time to change your smoke detector batteries and practice your family escape plan," said Rubin. "It all worked during this fire and everyone survived."

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Dale Kasler and Chelsea Phua
dkasler@sacbee.com

A Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District firefighter was taken to a hospital Sunday night after fighting a small grass fire at Haggin Oaks Golf Course.

Assistant Fire Chief Brian Rice said the firefighter, a 20-year veteran, suffered a "cardiac event" while working on the fire.

Rice said the firefighter has been taken to Mercy San Juan Medical Center, where he is receiving treatment.

District officials aren't identifying the firefighter, but Rice said their "thoughts and prayers are with the family."

According to a report last year by the National Fire Protection Association, sudden cardiac death is the leading cause of on-duty firefighter fatalities in the United States.

Call The Bee's Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066.

RP FIRE INVESTIGATOR.JPGA Sacramento City fire investigator looks for clues in the cause of a three-alarm fire which destroyed an upholstery shop and damaged a glass business early this morning in Colonial Heights. Photo by Randy Pench

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A three-alarm fire destroyed an upholstery shop and damaged a glass business early this morning in Colonial Heights.

The fire broke out at 2:26 a.m. at the commercial building at 4640 Stockton Boulevard, said Sacramento City Fire Capt. Jonathan Burgess.

When crews first arrived the fire was observed at the back of the building. Firefighters took hose lines through the front door and crews also went to the back to an adjoining apartment.

The apartment was searched and found to be unoccupied. The fire eventually spread into the attic of the upholstery shop.

A decision was made to pull firefighters out of the building when the fire started to burn with more force in the attic. Within two minutes there was partial roof collapse of the building.

The entire roof eventually collapsed. There were no injuries to firefighters or the public.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Queenie Wong
qwong@sacbee.com

Firefighters have contained a series of small grass fires that threatened a barn housing horses near Watt Ave and Long View Drive, according to the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District.

Captain Christian Pebbles, a spokesman for the fire district, said that firefighters received a call around 9:25 p.m. about four small grass fires, each less than 20 feet from the barn. They contained the fire within an hour, he said.

Details about the cause of the fire are not available at this time, Pebbles said.

Call The Bee's Queenie Wong, (916) 321-1008.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A fire at the Motel 6, 2030 Arden Way, was mostly contained to the second-story unit where the blaze apparently broke out shortly after midnight, said a spokesman for the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District.

The fire caused some damage to neighboring units and roof.

A total of 33 firefighters were called to the fire, which caused an estimated loss of about $100,000, the spokesman said.

Occupants of the motel evacuated safely.

No injuries were reported to motel customers or firefighters.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Queenie Wong
qwong@sacbee.com

Rancho Cordova police officers arrested two boys after they admitted they started a fire Sunday afternoon at a playground on White Rock Road in Rancho Cordova, according to fire officials.

The fire started at the playground around 2:32 p.m. and spread to a portable classroom at White Rock Elementary School, said Captain Christian Pebbles, a spokesman for the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District. The damage from the fire is about $25,000, he said.

The boys, who are 11 years old and 12 years old, admitted to the police during the interview process that they started the fire. Officers did not offer additional details.

The suspects were cited and released to their parents.

Call The Bee's Queenie Wong, (916) 321-1008.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A fire that burned outbuildings and equipment on former ranch property in Elk Grove early this morning was deliberately set, according to fire investigators.

Deputy Chief John Michelini of the Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department said the fire that burned about 1-1/2 acres in the 6200 block of Calvine Road was reported about 4 a.m. It involved a multitude of dilapidated outbuildings, tools and equipment, and was brought under control in about an hour.

Michelini said arson investigators determined that fires were started at several locations on the property but have not identified what type of device or devices were used.

"We have no reason to believe that this is related to arsons in the north county or Carmichael areas," he said.

Michelini said the property once included a small house and ranch operations, but it had been abandoned and had been declared uninhabitable by city code enforcement officers.

Because arson is often used to cover up other crimes, Michelini said, a cadaver dog was brought in to search the site to make sure there were no victims.

He said the fire department was working with Elk Grove code enforcement officers and county hazardous materials officials to handle removal of containers of unidentified liquids and other potentially hazardous materials on the property.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Miranda Simon and Chelsea Phua
msimon@sacbee.com

Firefighters have contained and nearly extinguished a two-alarm grass fire at Discovery Park near the Garden Highway, said Capt. Jonathan Burgess, spokesperson for the Sacramento Fire Department, in a press release.

The approximately 12-acre wide, heavy brush fire was reported shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday and was burning near the American River bike trail, Burgess said.

Several companies remain on scene to address smoldering trees, which are both fall hazards and fire spread concerns for firefighters. There were no reported injuries to firefighters or civilians and the cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

Firefighters from Sacramento, Metro, and West Sacramento fire departments were called in to battle the fire. The wind was blowing embers across Garden Highway and firefighters were concerned it would spread to was a nearby apartment complex under construction, and that the fire would spread.

Winds were blowing burning embers across Garden Highway and threatening an apartment complex under construction, as well as, contributed to the spread of the fire

Firefighters had difficulty accessing the fire because of thick brush and fire hydrants. They also discovered several homeless camps while they were treading through.

It's not clear how the fire started.

Call The Bee's Miranda Simon, (916) 321-1119.

By Jim Wasserman and Mark Glover
jwasserman@sacbee.com

Sacramento County sheriff's deputies arrested a 47-year-old area man today on suspicion of arson after the number of suspicious regional fires since Thursday grew to 27, a Sacramento Metro Fire District official said.

Authorities arrested Edward Martin on two counts of arson in connection with fires reported in the Florin Road area at 8:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., said Assistant Fire Chief Brian Rice.

Martin does not have a fixed address, he said.

Martin's arrest was the first related to arson fires started in recent days in South Sacramento, Del Paso Heights, North Highlands and Carmichael.

"They're not all connected together, but different sets of them are connected," said Rice. "We're trying to work hard to get the people who are doing it caught."

Martin is not a suspect in other suspicious area blazes over the past week, Rice said. There were no injuries in either small fire linked to Martin.

Sacramento fire officials said the suspicious blazes included a house fire on Diana Way, a fire at Southwoods Park near the intersection of French and Gerber roads in south Sacramento, a small fire at Foothill High School off Hillsdale Boulevard and a pair of grass fires in Del Paso Heights.

No injuries were reported in any of the fires, he said.

Call The Bee's Jim Wasserman, (916) 321-1102.

By Loretta Kalb
lkalb@sacbee.com

Firefighters responded to a series of related overnight arson fires that involved two abandoned buildings and three dumpsters near Watt Avenue and Roseville Road in North Highlands.

The first arson fire, reported at 8:16 p.m. Saturday night, burned brush and part of an abandoned building in the 4600 block of Watt Avenue, causing minor damage.

While crews were fighting that fire, a citizen reported a second fire - a dumpster behind a building on the same block.

A few hours later, firefighters returned to the dumpster area after receiving a report of a mattress fire at the scene.

Then, at about 10:20 p.m., a dumpster was set on fire in the alley at Watt Avenue and A Street, only about 200 feet from a fire station.

Today, at 5:40 a.m., fire crews responded to a reported commercial structure fire in the 5000 block of Roseville Road.

The structure, an abandoned house, had been part of a one-time business and was well involved when firefighters arrived.

There were no injuries.

The district's arson investigators believe the fires to be related. Anyone with information about them is asked to call the arson tip line at (916) 859-3775.

Call The Bee's Loretta Kalb, (916) 321-1073.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A house in Rocklin suffered extensive damage but the residents were able to escape the burning home thanks to neighbors.

The fire broke out in the 3400 block of Midas Avenue about 11 p.m. When Rocklin fire department crews got to the house flames were destroying a room addition next to the garage.

The fire had also spread into the attic. The home sustained significant damage as heavy tile on the roof fell into the structure.

Two people in the home, alerted to the fire by neighbors, were able to safely get out of the residence, said Battalion Chief Tim Palmer.

Firefighters were able to salvage a good portion of the homeowner's property.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Matt Weiser
mweiser@sacbee.com

A 4-year-old boy is in critical condition at Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California after being rescued from a burning apartment today.

Sacramento Metro Fire District firefighters responded to the 3100 block of El Camino Avenue just after 11 a.m. They broke through a window to rescue the boy.

The victim wasn't breathing completely on his own when firefighters found him. He was wrapped in blankets.

"It really prevented any thermal burns to his skin," said Assistant Fire Chief Brian Rice. His injuries appeared to be respiratory, Rice said.

The boy is in critical condition, but appeared to be stabilizing, Rice said.

The fire at the El Camino Apartments appears to be accidental, Rice said. Damage was estimated at about $100,000.

Call The Bee's Matt Weiser, (916) 321-1264.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Another fire erupted at a home in Woodland where a suspicious blaze was reported earlier in the week.

The fire this morning was reported in an unoccupied home in the 1500 block of Sixth Street and was contained by firefighters.

A fire broke out shortly before midnight Tuesday at the same home. Arson investigators were called to the scene for that fire, which was labeled as suspicious in nature.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

Previous coverage:

Woodland house fire considered suspicious - Aug. 25, 2010

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com
AATWINGARDENSFIRE1.standalone.prod_affiliate.4.JPG
A three-alarm apartment fire tonight heavily damaged the Twin Garden at 5831 Fair Oaks Blvd., a blaze that may have been started by an explosion.

The fire was reported at about 6:30 p.m. and was brought under control by 8 p.m.

One resident told The Bee that the fire was preceded by a hissing sound, then an explosion and a giant fireball.

One firefighter suffered heat-releated injuries.

An unknown number of people were evacuated.

Charles Henderson, an apartment resident, said there was an explosion, followed by a fireball.

"I heard a big hissing sound," he said. "The hissing ended with a massive fireball and explosion."

He said the hissing sound came from the area where the apartment's natural gas and power lines are.

Henderson said he had just left his apartment and was a couple of blocks away when the fire happened.

Battalion Chief Scott Cockrum of the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District said 10 or more units were burned. The two-story complex has approximately 35 units, Henderson said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, Cockrum said.

The complex was evacuated and an unknown number of residents were displaced.

The fire apparently started on the southside of the complex and spread through the second-story units and the attics, Cockrum said.

Portions of the apartment's roof were blown across the street.

Fair Oaks Boulevard was closed south of El Camino Avenue due to the fire. The California Highway Patrol said the closure lasted until about 9 p.m.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

Bee photo by Andy Alfaro: Sac Metro firefighters vent the roof of the Twin Garden Apartments during a three-alarm blaze in Fair Oaks Wednesday.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Two barn-type outbuildings and a travel trailer were destroyed in a fire that burned about an acre in the area of Jackson Highway and Excelsior Road this afternoon.

Brian Rice, assistant chief with the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, said the fire started about 1:45 p.m. Five grass companies, a water tender, a helicopter and a bulldozer responded and were able to prevent the fire from spreading to a house on the property.

Sacramento Metro firefighters were assisted by the Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department, and the fire was brought under control in about 45 minutes, Rice said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Rice said foul play is not suspected.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A suspicious fire broke out shortly before midnight inside an unoccupied home in Woodland, police say.

Woodland police and fire department personnel were dispatched to a home in the 1500 block of Sixth Street. Firefighters put out the fire inside the single-family residence and arson investigators began looking into the cause of the fire.

Police say that the cause of the fire is unknown. However, the fire was labeled as suspicious in nature.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A two-alarm fire in southern Sacramento County heavily damaged two homes.

The fire broke out about 12:45 a.m. on the 8800 block of Liscarney Way near Elk Grove-Florin Road and Calvine Road. When Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District firefighters arrived on the scene, both homes were burning.

The fire went to two alarms with 8 engines, 4 trucks and 3 engines responding. Nobody was injured.

Both of the homes were close to a complete loss, a fire spokesman said. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A fire burned up to the fences of a subdivision at Roseville's western edge Friday before it was contained, allowing residents who were evacuated to return to their homes.

Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said Friday evening that the fire burned 434 acres of grassland. Approximately 200 firefighters from Cal Fire, the city of Roseville and agencies from throughout Placer and Sacramento counties battled the blaze.

Berlant said the fire started about 3 p.m. at Baseline Road and Watt Avenue, and the wind pushed it toward the subdivision.

Roseville police evacuated residents of 15 homes on Hayward Court, Overton Way and Littleton Lane. No structures were damaged, but Berlant said fences on the edge of the subdivision burned.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bee Staff

San Jose firefighters today showed their mettle as rescuers when they rescued a man and his pet parrot who were both stuck in a tree.

According to a San Jose FD news release, Truck Company 13 responded to a report of a man stuck in a tree.

However, the firefighters found the man had been trying to rescue his pet parrot by having his friend winch him up into the tree with his jeep. The winch cable cut into the tree and got stuck, leaving the man stranded, according to the release. (Photo below courtesy of the San Jose FD.)

Firefighter Asha Wagner climbed the aerial ladder, put a harness on the stranded man and brought him down safely, the release states.

"The aerial was then repositioned and (firefighter) Mike Murray, aka "the bird whisperer," climbed the ladder and retrieved the frightened parrot," the release states.

Truck 13[1].JPG

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Sacramento firefighters were called to a suspected arson fire inside an apartment leasing office this morning in Natomas.

A Sacramento Fire Department spokesman said the fire was in the office at the Granite Point Apartment in the 4500 block of Truxel Road.

The 6:45 a.m. fire did minimal damage to the structure of the office and was mostly confined to office contents. It appears someone broke into the office, and authorities say they believe the fire was caused by an arsonist.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Fire sprinklers were credited with extinguishing a fire that started in the service bay at Roseville Yamaha late this afternoon.

The Roseville Fire Department received a report of a structure fire 5:21 p.m. at the business, 2014 Taylor Road.

When firefighters arrived, smoke was pouring from the service bay at the rear of the building, but the fire had been extinguished by sprinklers, according to a fire department news release. Fire and smoke damage was described as minimal and was limited to the service area. Fire officials said the building sustained moderate water damage due to activation of the fire sprinkler system.

The fire started in the service area where employees were working on a Wave Runner. Approximately 30 employees and customers were in the building at the time, but no injuries were reported.

"In light of the fact that this fire involved flammable liquids, there was a lot of potential that this could have been devastating," Battalion Chief Kathy Finney, said in a written statement. "The fire sprinklers did their job."

Fire officials said the exact cause of the fire is under investigation.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Miranda Simon
msimon@sacbee.com

Sacramento police are investigating the homicide of a 50-year-old man whose mutilated body was found in an apartment fire in the 900 block of North Avenue early Saturday.

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office identified the victim as Arun Kumar Singh.

Neighbors and friends of the victim's 23-year-old daughter said the man's arms and legs had been cut off, and his chest set on fire.

Police would not confirm that Singh was dismembered, saying only that there was "some mutilation," and said two set fires in the building were linked to the homicide.

In a news release, police spokesman Sgt. Norm Leong said: "Detectives believe that the male was murdered. The cause of death and the motive for the murder has yet to be determined."

Erika Knight, 20, who lives in a unit upstairs at the North Avenue Apartments, made the gruesome discovery, with others in the building.

"I see the smoke coming out the door, a neighbor of mine opened the door, and we discovered his body was laying there and a heck of a lot of smoke. It was just a disaster," she said.

"The body was laying there burning," Knight said.

The Sacramento Fire Department arrived at the apartment fire in Del Paso Heights at 2:46 a.m. Police were called for assistance.

A second, small stairwell fire was reported while police and firefighters were on the scene. "We believe both fires are arsons and are related to the homicide," said Leong. "Obviously, the big question is why," he said.

Knight and her sister, Rocshell Daughton, 21, as well as another neighbor and a maintenance worker, came out when the fire alarm went off.

"We didn't know it was that apartment. We just saw smoke coming out," said Daughton, who was visiting her sister.

The neighbor in the unit facing the fire kicked in the door and found the body, said Daughton.

"The man's chest was on fire so we tried to get the fire extinguishers, but they weren't working, so the maintenance guy went to get the water hose and put the fire out."

Singh didn't live in the apartment, but regularly visited his daughter, who lives there with her child, her roommate and the roommate's two children, Knight said.

She said the daughter was not at the apartment Friday night and that she called to notify the woman that her father was dead.

"I spoke to him a few times," Knight said of Singh. "He's cool, he's a sweet guy, he wouldn't harm anything or anybody."

She said Singh fixed radios and VCRs and also cleaned apartments around the complex, even though "it was not his job."

"He visits his daughter, he visits his granddaughter, takes his granddaughter for walks.

"He's just a regular guy, and I don't understand why anybody would do something like that to him," Knight said.

Sacramento fire officials said fire sprinklers limited the damage to one apartment. There were no reported injuries to firefighters or the residents who entered the apartment.

Homicide detectives, crime scene investigators and arson investigators are working to gather more evidence, Leong said.

The Sacramento Police Department asks anyone with information to contact Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP or text in a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter SACTIP followed by the tip information.

Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000.

Call The Bee's Miranda Simon, (916) 321-1119.


View Larger Map

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

The Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department has created a new Twitter account to provide real-time reports of major incidents to which it responds.

The department's Twitter page can be found at http://twitter.com/cosumnesfire.

By following the instructions and creating a Twitter account, "followers" will be automatically alerted via e-mail to the fire department's postings, including major incidents within its jurisdiction. Postings will be made only by authorized personnel, which include the department's chief officers, according to a news release.

The Cosumnes Community Services District serves approximately 160,000 residents in a 157-square-mile area of south Sacramento County.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Laurel Rosenhall
lrosenhall@sacbee.com

Authorities are investigating a suspected arson fire discovered on the UC Davis campus this morning.

A garbage truck driver passing the east side of the Memorial Union at 5:41 a.m. noticed a Bank of America ATM on fire, said UC Davis fire department spokesman Paul Pfotenhauer. The campus police and fire departments responded, quickly extinguished the fire and determined it was likely started by an arsonist, Pfotenhauer said. No one was injured, and no money was stolen.

Because the ATM is owned by a bank, the incident is being investigated as a federal crime, Pfotenhauer said. The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are involved in the investigation, he said.

Authorities are looking for clues on footage from the ATM's security camera.

"A big part of this is to find out what kind of accelerant was used, and then to look at the security camera," Pfotenhauer said. "Is this a student? ... Was the material thrown from a distance? That kind of thing."

All ATMs on the east side of the Memorial Union will be shut down for the day. ATMs on other parts of the Davis campus are unaffected.

Call The Bee's Laurel Rosenhall, (916) 321-1083.

By Bill Lindelof and Cathy Locke
blindelof@sacbee.com

Sutter County Sheriff's detectives are investigating as homicides the death of two people whose bodies were found after a house fire was extinguished.

About 12:40 a.m. today, dispatchers received a call of the sounds of gunshots or firecrackers and breaking glass in the small community of Sutter, five miles west of Yuba City.

The Sutter Fire Department firefighters responded to the location of the call in the 2200 block of Mulberry Street and quelled a garage fire. Firefighters also found two bodies inside the home.

Deputies responded and cordoned off the home.

Sutter County Sheriff's Capt. Lewis McElfresh said officials are awaiting the coroner's identification of the victims, but they are believed to be Jack and Susan Martin, the residents of the house.

McElfresh said investigators have a person of interest in the case, but he declined to elaborate. He said Sutter County detectives are being assisted in the investigation by the state Department of Justice.

The cause of the fire also under investigation.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

The city of Davis and UC Davis campus are poised to consolidate management of their fire departments under a two-year pilot program.

The Davis City Council on Tuesday authorized staff members to proceed with a plan for the two departments to share one fire chief, a move that could save $250,000 a year. The pilot project also calls for a shared dispatch center, restructuring of administrative support functions, and standardized training policies and procedures.

If approved by UC Davis Vice Chancellor John Meyer, the consolidation likely would begin Sept. 1, said Kelly Stachowicz, deputy city manager.

Under the plan, Bill Weisgerber, interim chief of the city Fire Department, would become interim chief of both departments, reporting jointly to Meyer and City Manager Bill Emlen. The city and university would contribute equally to his $149,316 annual salary, according to a city news release.

City and university officials estimate that sharing a chief will save UC Davis $110,000 annually and the city, about $140,000 a year. The savings would be reinvested in fire operations.

Emlen said the agreement is in keeping with a national trend to merge fire departments.

"This consolidation will eliminate redundancy and duplication of effort, provide opportunities for cost savings and enhance the level of service for both campus and city," he said in a written statement.

Under provisions of the agreement:

- In addition to the fire chief position, the two departments would share an assistant chief, training chief and operations chief.

- All other personnel would continue to be employees of their home departments, and their collective bargaining agreements would remain in effect.

- Fire calls on the Davis campus, now dispatched through a campus facility that also serves the campus Police Department, eventually would be dispatched through the city's public safety dispatch center to improve emergency dispatch and response coordination.

- Crews and equipment would be dispatched based on proximity and availability, rather than by city and campus boundaries.

- The departments would implement standardized operating guidelines, training, and policies and procedures, and look at joint purchasing to save money.

For years, the city and university have shared the weekly rotation of a duty chief to respond to first-alarm or larger emergencies, and the departments have provided mutual aid for major incidents.

In 2009, when the chiefs of both departments announced their retirements, the city and university took the opportunity to consider a new model for managing fire services.

Stachowicz said the city and university will seek the advice of a consultant regarding a more extensive consolidation of the two departments.

"We need a third party to help us walk through all the steps and make sure further consolidation wouldn't have any unintended consequences," she said.

The city Fire Department, with an annual budget of $9.69 million, 45 firefighters and three fire stations, responded to 4,169 calls for service in 2009.

The campus Fire Department has an annual budget of $3.95 million, 20 firefighters and one fire station, and responded to 939 calls.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

RP WAREHOUSE FIRE[1].JPG Sacramento police and fire officials investigate the discovery of a legal marijuana growing operation today inside a fire-damaged north Sacramento warehouse. Bee photo by Randy Pench.

By Bill Lindelof and Peter Hecht
phecht@sacbee.com

A legal marijuana-growing operation was damaged after the Sacramento warehouse where it was housed caught fire early this morning, according to a lawyer for the grower.

The warehouse grows marijuana for Unity Non-Profit Collective, a Sacramento dispensary that has a registered network of about 3,000 medical marijuana users, according to a spokesman for the collective.

Sacramento police said the operation is legal.

"We were given a clean bill of health," said George Mull, Unity's attorney. "It's not considered a crime scene, and we're moving on."

Firefighters were called to the warehouse by a report of the strong odor of something burning in the vicinity of warehouses near Del Paso Boulevard and Railroad Drive at 5:13 a.m.

When crews arrived eight minutes later to 1900 Railroad Drive they reported heavy black smoke billowing from metal roll-up doors on the concrete-sided warehouse.

A second alarm was sounded as crews cut open doors to get at the fire.

Using thermal imaging cameras, firefighters were able to peer through the thick smoke to locate and extinguish the fire.

When the smoke cleared, firefighters found marijuana plants at several spots growing inside the building, a department spokesman said.

Sacramento police spokesman Sgt. Norm Leong said that about 200 plants in various stages of growth were found in the warehouse. Three or four rooms had been converted for the purpose of growing.

Chemicals to help grow the marijuana and electrical equipment to power indoor grow lights also were found.

Authorities also found 15 18-gallon plastic containers of dried marijuana.

Several hours after the fire, several people approached officers and told them that the marijuana was part of a collective growing the plants for medicinal purposes.

By Bill Lindelof and Cathy Locke
blindelof@sacbee.com

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District officials are investigating six arson fires that have occurred in the past 24 hours.

Two of the fires occurred at structures and four were grassfires. Damage apparently was not major.

Firefighters responded about 9 a.m. to a fire at an office in the 5300 block of Madison Avenue. An arsonist had set a telephone book on fire that was against the door of the office, charring the door, investigators said Metro fire spokesman Capt. Christian Pebbles.

Another fire was reported at the front door of a vacant restaurant, Rosie's Cafe, at Auburn Boulevard and Garfield Avenue in Foothill Farms, Pebbles said.

Three of the grass fires were in the area of Bridge and Park roads, east of Watt Avenue, between Interstate 80 and Auburn Boulevard. The fourth was in the 5200 block of Hemlock Street.

Pebbles asked that anyone who has information call the arson tip line at (916) 859-3775.

"Our information is that somebody is walking the area and doing this," said Pebbles. "These are all deliberate."

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Stephen Magagnini
smagagnini@sacbee.com

Sacramento fire crews are monitoring a large, suspicious wood fire burning along Garden Highway this afternoon, threatening trees and power lines.

Firefighters responded to the blaze with tankers containing several thousands gallons, but "are using the water sparingly because there aren't any hydrants in the area," said Capt. Jonathan Burgess.

The closest dwellings are at least 300 yards away across garden Highway, but firefighters will stay on the scene, wetting down nearby tress and the general area around the blaze to make sure the fire doesn't spread.

"We'll stand by over the next 24, maybe 48 hours until it burns out to make sure no winds pick up and start blowing embers anywhere," Burgess said. "It's a lot of lumber stacked pretty high, over 15 feet."

The burning pile, which appears to be old trees stacked in a field several hundred feet from 5871 Garden Highway, was reported around 2 p.m. this afternoon and as of 6 p.m. was no longer threatening power lines, and no power has gone out in the area, Burgess said. There are some bulldozers and heavy equipment nearby, but were not being operated Saturday.

Call The Bee's Stephen Magagnini, (916) 321-1072.

By Chelsea Phua
cphua@sacbee.com

Another vacant house. Another report of a possible gas leak.

But this time, Sacramento firefighters, mindful of an Oak Park explosion that injured four of them July 5, took extra precaution when they noticed the spinning gas meter and odor.

"There were some similarities," spokesman Capt. Jonathan Burgess said. "There's heightened awareness in the organization."

The responding unit "slowed down" and waited for the Hazardous Material Response Team to arrive with gas monitors before entering the home in the 4100 block of Howard Avenue in Oak Park early this morning, Burgess said.

The gas monitors detected little to no measurable gas in the air, and the home was "opened without incident," Burgess wrote in a news release.

In the July 5 incident, the Hazardous Material Response Team was not dispatched - until after the blast.

In addition, everyone entering the home this morning wore full protective clothing, including masks attached to breathing apparatus and gloves, Burgess said.

"As far as we know, they weren't wearing masks at the time the explosion occurred," Burgess said in an interview with The Bee earlier this week. It has not been determined whether they wore gloves on July 5.

Fire officials say they suspected the Oak Park explosion near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard was a "deliberate act," but the cause remains under investigation, Burgess said.

Authorities identified the source of today's leak as a broken gas pipe in the residence's rear driveway. How the pipe was broken is being investigated.

Call The Bee's Chelsea Phua, (916) 321-1132.

Previous coverage:

Sacramento Fire Department investigates whether crew followed procedures before blast - July 14, 2010

Firefighter hurt in home explosion leaves hospital - July 12, 2010

Firefighter recalls explosion chaos - July 10, 2010

Sacramento firefighters injured in home explosion recovering - July 7, 2010

Oak Park home explosion injures 4 firefighters, terrifies neighbors - July 6, 2010

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Two grass fires reported in the Rancho Cordova area this morning are being investigated as arson.

At one of the two small fires reported about 4:30 a.m. near Sunrise Boulevard and Kiefer Boulevard a burned road flare was found, possibly tossed into dry grass by an arsonist.

"They were both deliberately set," said Capt. Christian Pebbles, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District spokesman. "They were extinguished very fast."

Today's fires do not appear to be related to a string of grass fires in the same general area on Monday, authorities say. Investigators are considering the possibility that those fires were started by sparks from some kind of metal object being accidentally dragged by a vehicle.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

KCRA: Arsonist sought after Rancho Cordova fires

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Two 11-year-olds and an 8-year-old were cited Sunday for starting a fire that damaged a play structure at Freeport Elementary School in Sacramento's Meadowview area.

Firefighters responded at 2:27 p.m. to a report of a wood chip fire at the school at 2118 Meadowview Road. Engine Company 17, located at 24th Street and Gardendale Road would ordinarily have responded and arrived within four to five minutes, but it was committed to a water rescue at the time, according to a Sacramento Fire Department news release. Instead, Engine Company 57, located at Franklin Boulevard and East Parkway, was the first company on scene, arriving eight minutes after dispatch.

The fire was extinguished within two minutes. But because of the extended response time, officials said, the wood chip fire had spread to the play structure, causing significant damage.

Arson investigators responded, and the three youngsters were located within an hour. The children remained in the custody of their guardians.

Fire officials noted that the Firefighters Burn Institute sponsors the Juvenile Fire Setters Program, designed to educate juveniles about the dangers associated with setting fires. For more information about the program, call (888) 452-7233 or go to www.firesetter.com.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Queenie Wong
qwong@sacbee.com

Firefighters have contained multiple grass fires that burned about 250 acres near Rancho Cordova on Monday afternoon, according to fire officials.

The Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection personnel used about 35 pieces of equipment, including bulldozers and helicopters, to battle a series of six grass fires near Grant Line Road and White Rock Road, said Capt. Christian Pebbles, Sac Metro district spokesman. The fires were contained at 5:25 p.m. after they merged into four fires.

Pebbles said that it is "very unusual" to have that many fires burning next to one another, and they are currently investigating the cause of the fires.

Two outbuildings were reported to have been damaged by the fires, but no injuries have been reported, Pebbles said.

Anyone with information about the fire should call the Metro Fire's Arson Tip Line at (916) 566-4320.

Call The Bee's Queenie Wong, (916) 321-1008.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

All four Sacramento firefighters injured when a home exploded in Oak Park on July 5 have returned home from the hospital.

Firefighter Jeff Coats was released at about 10 a.m. today. Michael Feyh was released Sunday night.

Firefighters Dave Storck and Scott McKinney previously had been released from UC Davis Medical Center.

The firefighters were responding to a routine gas-leak call when the home exploded, burning all four men.

Cause of the explosion, which fire officials say was deliberate, remains under investigation.

PG&E officials say they detected no gas leak in their pipes.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

Previous coverage:

Firefighter hurt in home explosion leaves hospital - July 12, 2010

Firefighter recalls explosion chaos - July 10, 2010

Sacramento firefighters injured in home explosion recovering - July 7, 2010

Oak Park home explosion injures 4 firefighters, terrifies neighbors - July 6, 2010

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Sacramento firefighters discovered more than 200 marijuana plants growing in three rooms of a south Sacramento house after they extinguished a fire there Sunday night.

The fire was in a home on the 5900 block of Sawyer Circle near Franklin Boulevard and Calvine Road.

The fire appears to have been the result of an illegally bypassed utility meter, said Sacramento police, who placed responsibility on the home's occupants.

Bypassing house meters has been discovered in other indoor pot-growing operations. It is done so the high energy consumption of grow lamps is not revealed on utility bills.

Police have not identified suspects.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

KCRA: Fire reveals indoor pot farm

By Carlos Alcalá
calcala@sacbee.com

Fire investigators are looking into a suspicious fire near Excelsior and Gerber roads in Sacramento County. It had threatened homes in the Vineyard housing subdivision Friday evening.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District arrived at the fast-moving grass fire at about 7 p.m. It took 24 firefighters about 20 minutes to subdue the fire.

Officials were unable to determine an accidental cause for the fire, which started in the middle of a field, and are treating it as having been intentionally set, said Capt. Christian Pebbles.

Anyone with information on this fire is asked to call Metro Fire's Arson Tip Line at (916) 566-4320.

Call The Bee's Carlos Alcalá, (916) 321-1987.

By Deia de Brito
ddebrito@sacbee.com

A one-alarm fire that burned a south Sacramento home early this morning has been contained, Sacramento Fire Department officials said.

The fire that began in the garage of a house on the 6500 block of Golf View Drive near 50th Avenue killed two dogs, one of which was the mother of four puppies. The owner saved the puppies as he left the house, Capt. Jim Doucette said. Animal control collected the two deceased animals.

Firefighters requested Red Cross assistance for the three people who were displaced because of the fire. The residents were unhurt.

One firefighter suffered a minor injury and was taken to the hospital.

A hazardous materials team was called to the scene to investigate whether water used to extinguish the fire had entered the storm drain.

Investigators are trying to determine the fire's cause.

"(The house) didn't burn to the ground, but it's damaged enough so that people can't live in it," said Doucette.

Call The Bee's Deia de Brito, (916) 321-1087.


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By Deia de Brito
ddebrito@sacbee.com

Heavy black smoke billowed up from under the roll-up door of a Sacramento auto repair shop early this morning in a two-alarm blaze, a fire department new release said.

Two firefighter crews entered Qualiti Break and Tune, 401 16th Street, and put out the flames of a car that was engulfed in flames and completely destroyed. The building and its contents were spared, and no one was injured.

Investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire.

Call The Bee's Deia de Brito, (916) 321-1087.

KCRA: Blaze damages auto repair shop

By Deia de Brito
ddebrito@sacbee.com

Local residents are battling a fire that has burned for three days on Bradford Island, a Contra Costa County community not served by a specific firefighting organization.

No firefighters have fought the blaze, which has burned several structures and hundreds of acres in the Delta, published reports state.

The East Contra Costa County Fire department is the closest firefighting organization in the area, but dispatchers there say they have no obligation to respond.

"We are not responding to that fire," a Contra Costa County Fire Department dispatcher said. "It's an uncovered area."

Call The Bee's Deia de Brito, (916) 321-1087.

By Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

Smoldering fireworks in a garbage can likely caused a two-alarm fire just after midnight this morning that gutted one house and burned another on Laguna Lake Road in Elk Grove, neighbors said.

Nobody was hurt, thanks in large part to the quick action of Gilbert Rodriguez, 45, a neighbor who saw the fire from an adjacent backyard and ran to alert the residents, who were asleep.

The fire started between the two houses and spread up the walls and into the attics, said Cosumnes Fire Department fire chief Tracey Hansen.

The flames had gained significantly by the time firefighters responded at 12:15 a.m., Hansen said. Firefighters could not battle the flames from inside the house because the roof was collapsing, and they were still working on the fire at 3:30 a.m., she said.

Call The Bee's Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015.

explosion_two.jpgBy Bobby Caina Calvan and Ryan Lillis
bcalvan@sacbee.com

A fiery explosion rocked Oak Park this morning, sending four firefighters to the hospital and jolting nerves and houses throughout the neighborhood.

The four firefighters were in fair condition at UC Davis Medical Center with burns to their faces and extremities, said acting Sacramento fire chief Lloyd Ogan. One was released from the hospital today.

Rescue workers do not think anyone else was in the house when it exploded, but a search dog was on scene to double check, Ogan said.

The explosion occurred in a vacant home on the 3800 block of 25th Avenue near Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Fire officials were called to the neighborhood at 9:47 a.m. when dispatch received a call from a neighbor about a possible gas leak. Officials also received reports of someone possibly inside the home.

Firefighters turned off the gas and electricity to the house. When they forced their way through the home's front door at 9:56 a.m., it exploded, Ogan said.

What caused the blast isn't yet clear. Fire investigators and a crew from Pacific Gas & Electric this afternoon picked at the debris to determine the cause of the explosion.

A PG&E spokesman said he knew of no prior reports of trouble at the Oak Park house, which has been vacant for months and was up for rent. Neighbors reported smelling fumes emanating from the property on the Fourth of July, but some dismissed the odors as the lingering whiff from holiday fireworks. The company's first word of a possible gas leak was a call from the fire department Monday morning, just minutes before the explosion, said PG&E spokesman J.D. Guidi.

Ogan said the fireball's "ignition source should have been eliminated" when the gas and electric were shut off. "Who knows what sparked it?" he said, adding it was unlikely the firefighters forcing their way through the front door would be the sole source of the blaze.

The explosion buckled the house's roof and blew out a side wall.

John Jelks, a neighbor, was standing at his mailbox when the fire crews arrived. "I saw pieces of wood fly as high up as the trees," he said.

That's when he bolted away from the explosion.

Some neighbors reported the smell of natural gas overnight.

Many dismissed it as fumes from holiday fireworks, neighbors said.

Dave Peterson, another neighbor, said "It was a big old gas ball coming out of the window."

When the house exploded, Brittany Acosta, who lives down the street, said she thought it was fireworks, but that it was too loud.

Aurora Alvarado, who lives in the 5100 block of Martin Luther King Boulevard, said she didn't know what hit her neighborhood. "Even the house shook," she said.

Call The Bee's Bobby Caina Calvan, (916) 321-1067.

KCRA: Home explosion sends 4 to hospital

By Hudson Sangree
hsangree@sacbee.com

Illegal fireworks started dozens of fires around the region, including a grass fire in the Little Pocket area that shot embers into a residential neighborhood, fire officials said late Sunday.

"Everywhere I look there are people setting off illegal fireworks," said Capt. Chad Augustin, with the Sacramento Fire Department.

At 11 p.m., Augustin said firefighters were knocking down a grass fire that had swept along a levee in the Little Pocket and threatened homes.

The fire was near the intersection of Seamas Avenue and Riverside Boulevard, he said.

He said firefighters appeared to have brought it under control.

Call The Bee's Hudson Sangree, (916) 321-1191.

By Hudson Sangree
hsangree@sacbee.com

Sacramento fire officials said a blaze at a city corporation yard Sunday afternoon is under investigation and deemed suspicious.

The fire at the city facility near 24th Street and Fruitridge Road burned a metal building, several city vehicles and a truck, said Capt. Chad Augustin, with the Sacramento Fire Department.

Investigators were calling the fire suspicious because no one was working in the building at the time of the fire, at about 3:50 p.m.

Firefighters knocked down the fire in about 20 minutes, he said. There were no injuries.

Call The Bee's Hudson Sangree, (916) 321-1191.

By Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

A four-alarm fire at a Sacramento apartment building sent two people to the hospital for burns and smoke inhalation, fire officials said.

The fire displaced 12 people from the 10-unit building at 7001 East Parkway, said Sacramento Fire Department spokesman Jonathan Burgess.

The blaze started in a downstairs apartment and extended to the second floor, where it ignited two more units, Burgess said. It was reported at 10:58 p.m. and it took firefighters about 15 minutes to put the blaze out once they reached the scene, Burgess said.

"It was pretty well involved by the time our crews got here," he said.

Occupants of the building helped rescue one person from the downstairs apartment, while firefighters rescued another victim from one of the upstairs apartments, Burgess said.

Along with the two burn victims, four other occupants were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation, he said.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

Call The Bee's Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015.

By Deia de Brito and Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

A Folsom grass fire that burned between three and five acres today where Riley Street becomes Kennerly Way has been contained.

Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the fire, said Dean Cross of the Folsom Fire Department.

The fire was reported at 11:56 a.m. and contained by around 1 p.m.

At one point, the Folsom department had six grass rigs battling the blaze, Cross said. The fire approached a self-storage area where there were many motor homes and trailers but did not burn the area, Cross said.

The Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District also responded to the fire with 10 trucks and command staff, said district spokesman Capt. Christian Pebbles.

Call The Bee's Deia de Brito, (916) 321-1087.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

An early-morning garage fire turned up more than just smoke damage.

The fire in the 1300 block of Rushden Drive in Arden Arcade broke out about 5 a.m. The garage was burned and smoke damage was sustained in the rest of the house.

A cat died in the blaze.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District Capt. Christian Pebbles said investigators have not ruled out an electrical cause for the blaze. He noted that there were marijuana plant growing lights in the garage.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

RAP_0080.JPGBy Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A vacant building owned by Sacramento State that was gutted by fire this morning is scheduled to be demolished beginning at the end of July.

The fire, reported at 12:06 a.m., hit one building housing a former commissary, kitchen, dining area and warehouse for the California Youth Authority, the property's previous owner.

Sacramento firefighters were on the scene within minutes, but the buildings at 3001 Ramona Avenue near Folsom Boulevard and Power Inn Road were burning intensely, the blaze already going through the roof. Firefighters surrounded the structure to keep the fire from spreading.

No injuries were reported, authorities said, and 75 firefighters responded to the blaze. The fire is being investigated by the state fire marshal's office.

Sacramento State took ownership of the property in July 2005. It had been vacant for about a year before University Enterprises, a Sac State auxiliary, purchased the property.

Originally, the university planned to develop faculty and staff housing on the site, but the lagging economy interrupted that effort.

A demolition plan had been in the works. Final papers for tearing down the old CYA construction are expected to be signed in a few days.

The university expects the demolition work to be completed by September.

Security and Sacramento State police have patrolled the property, the university said today. More patrols will be added.

The buildings have been frequented by transients, fire officials said. On March 23, a fire at the site was contained to an abandoned portable classroom.
Photo caption: Sac City firefighter David Pierner prepares to hose down a hot spot at the scene of a fire that destroyed two buildings belonging to Sacramento State University near Power Inn Road and Folsom Boulevard Tuesday morning. Photo by Randy Pench

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1076.

KCRA: See aerial view of Sacramento fire:


By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Highway 65 has been reopened to traffic between Sunset Boulevard and Twelve Bridges Road after being shut down for about a half hour due to a grass fire near the Thunder Valley Casino.

Cal Fire spokeswoman Chelsea Fox said the fire, reported at 2:26 p.m., had been contained after burning 50 acres in the area of Athens and Industrial avenues.

Firefighters from Placer County, Rocklin and Lincoln departments were dispatched along with those from Cal Fire.


Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Five Elk Grove restaurants were forced to close today following a lunchtime fire that started in an electrical box at a Baja Fresh restaurant in a shopping center at Laguna Boulevard and Bruceville Road.

The fire started at the rear of the Baja fresh restaurant, according to a news release from the Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department. Four adjacent restaurants also have been forced to close for an indefinite period while electrical repairs are made.

Four fire engines, two fire trucks, two batallion chiefs and a medic unit were dispatched to the fire, which was reported about noon.

Smoke entered the restaurants around Baja Fresh and all were evacuated. No injuries to patrons or firefighters were reported.

Fire officials said they did not know whether the fire was related to the weather and triple-digit temperatures.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Chelsea Phua and Bill Lindelof
cphua@sacbee.com

Fire officials have arrested a woman suspected of starting fires Thursday night along the north and south banks of the American River Bike trail, officials report.

Sacramento Fire Department Arson Investigators and Sacramento County Park Rangers arested Evangeline Deutsch, 39, who is homeless, on suspicion of committing arson.

The fires, reported about 8 p.m., burned for a half-mile near Highway 160, said Capt. Jim Doucette of the Sacramento Fire Department. Seventy-five firefighters battled the blazes, which were extinguished about 9:30 p.m.

Initially, officials had been looking for two people, a man and a woman on bikes.

Crews from the Sacramento Metro Fire District and West Sacramento Fire Department helped the Sacramento Fire Department battle the fires. There were no injuries reported.

Call The Bee's Chelsea Phua, (916) 321-1132.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Despite tight budgets, major fire agencies in Sacramento County will boost the number of firefighters dispatched to calls beginning July 1.

Capt. Christian Pebbles, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District spokesman, said the new regional standard operating guidelines were given a trial run this morning when a fire broke out in the garage of a townhouse in the 5600 block of Verner Oak Court in the Foothill Farms area.

Five engines, three trucks, two battalion chiefs and a medic were dispatched, in keeping with the new standards for a first-alarm response for a multifamily residential or commercial structure. That amounts to two more engines, an additional truck and 10 to 12 more firefighters than would have been sent in the past, Pebbles said.

"We had more people there faster," he said.

Having more resources on scene initially, he said, saves time and can be critical to preventing a fire from spreading to other buildings.

Along with the Sacramento Metropolitan district, the Sacramento, Folsom, and Cosumnes fire departments have adopted the new system, which is scheduled to be fully operational July 1, Pebbles said.

"The community should know that although we're in the midst of a budget crisis or economic downturn ... that the citizens are still getting the very best fire service possible," he said.

In the townhouse fire reported at 4:22 this morning, Pebbles said, the presence of additional firefighters may have prevented the fire from spreading to neighboring units.

A man living in the townhouse was awakened by his cat, and he then alerted neighbors.

Pebbles said the fire began in the garage but quickly spread into the attic. The townhouse's vaulted ceilings made it difficult to determine where the fire was burning.

Firefighting also was complicated by a gas tank leak in the garage, as fuel kept reigniting.

The fire confined to the one townhouse. Although the man and his cat were displaced, neighboring units suffered only minor damage and were still habitable, Pebbles said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. The resident is a flooring contractor, and oil soaked rags in the garage are a possible source, Pebble said.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A fire that started in a garage heavily damaged a townhouse in the Foothill Farms area this morning.

The fire in the 5600 block of Verner Oak Court near Greenback Lane and Interstate 80 began about 4:30 a.m. About 40 firefighters from Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District battled the blaze.

Fire Capt. Christian Pebbles said the homeowner, a floor contractor, escaped the early-morning blaze, which moved from the garage through the inside of the walls to the attic.

A ruptured fuel tank on a vehicle in the garage fed the blaze. Fire investigators say oily rags in the garage might have caused the fire.

Adjacent townhouses suffered minor damage.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

A three-alarm fire burned materials at a recycling plant on Power Inn Road late this afternoon and into the early evening.

The fire started as a grass fire and spread to Recycling Industries, 3300 Power Inn Road, where it ignited cardboard and paper bales that were piled about 15 feet high, said Sacramento Fire Department Capt. Jim Doucette.

It has been contained and tractors and forklifts are being used to break up bales of cardboard to help extinguish the flames, according to an update on Doucette's Twitter account at about 7 p.m.

No injuries were reported.

The fire was reported as a two-alarm fire at about 5 p.m. but went to three alarms about an hour later.

Police units are redirecting traffic in the area as a cautionary measure, said a Sacramento Police Department dispatcher.

Four fire departments responded to the blaze with nine engines, six trucks and 78 firefighters.

Firefighters will likely be at the site all night as the materials continue to smolder, Doucette said.

Call The Bee's Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015.

By Carlos Alcalá
calcala@sacbee.com

A 12.5-acre grass fire in the Rio Linda-Elverta area today was caused by someone trying to mow a fire break, officials said.

Someone doing "the right thing at the wrong time" sparked the blaze, said Sacramento Metro Fire Capt. Christian Pebbles.

The recommended times to use power equipment for mowing dry grass are early in the morning and late in the evening when temperatures are lower and humidity is higher.

Saturday's fire started around noon when fire risk was higher.

The fire went to three alarms because of Saturday's breezes, the size of the fire's flanks and its potential to affect nearby buildings.

Firefighters from Sacramento Fire Department also worked to knock down the blaze.

The fire cause no injuries and affected no homes, but consumed some small out-buildings and yard equipment, Pebbles said.

Call The Bee's Carlos Alcalá, (916) 321-1987.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Peak fire season officially began today in the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit.

Seasonal firefighters have been rehired and trained, and fire response facilities are open around-the-clock, according to a Cal Fire news release.

Fire officials urge homeowners to prepare for wildfires by reducing or removing vegetation around homes to create a defensible space.

"Homeowners play a key role in determining the survivability of their homes," Chief Brad Harris of the Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit said in the news release. "The most important person in protecting a home from a wildfire is not the firefighter during the actual emergency, but the property owner and their actions in the weeks and months before."

To help make homes fire safe, fire officials advise property owners to:

• Remove all flammable vegetation within 30 feet of structures.

• In an additional 70 feet, space trees and plants away from each other.

• Clear all needles and leaves from roofs, eaves and rain gutters.

• Trim branches 6 feet from the ground.

• Use trimming, mowing and power equipment before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m.

• Landscape with fire-resistant plants.

• Use ignition-resistant building materials.

For more information on defensible space, see the Cal Fire website at www.fire.ca.gov.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Sparks from power lines apparently caused grass fires that scorched 150 acres in the Elk Grove area.

A series of grass fires during the weekend spread through open fields, burning several farm buildings and haystacks.

A fire Saturday, driven by high winds, grew to 80 acres in an hour. It started near Grantline and Waterman roads, destroying a barn, several other buildings and vehicles.

On Sunday, four separate fires along the same north-south power lines blackened at least 70 acres east of Elk Grove and Wilton. The first fire that day spread to a haystack.

No buildings were damaged Sunday but three haystacks made of baled hay burned. Value of the hay was estimated to be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Sacramento Municipal Utility District, owner of the power lines, told investigators a line malfunctioned, a Cosumnes Community Services District news release states.

Firefighters from the Cosumnes CSD, Sacramento Fire Department, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Department and Wilton Fire Department fought the blazes.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

Two Antelope homes are in serious need of repair after an out-of-control propane grill fire spread to the two homes Sunday afternoon, causing an estimated $400,000 in damages.

Capt. Christian Pebbles, of the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, said all signs point to the grill as the origin of the fire. The homeowner left the grill unattended and returned to find it engulfed in flames, Pebbles said. The resident was concerned the propane tank would explode and called the fire department, he said.

"This was a preventable fire. If you have a barbecue don't leave it unattended," said Pebbles.

He also recommended outdoor cooks clean their grill frequently to reduce the amount of flammable grease.

The fire at Magister Court was called in at 5:11 p.m. It took 35 firefighters 23 minutes to extinguish the fire.

There were no injuries.

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

By Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

A two-alarm grass fire in Elk Grove burned 80 acres and threatened the house on one of the oldest ranches in the area before firefighters got it under control this afternoon.

The fire started around 1:30 p.m., near the intersection of Waterman and Grant Line roads. It burned a couple of out buildings near the Mahon Ranch, which has stood in the area for over 125 years.

The fire quickly spread from covering five acres to covering 80 because of high winds, said Steve Capps, public information officer for the Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department.

It took a little over two hours for firefighters from the Cosumnes department and other departments to get the fire under control, Capps said.

There were no injuries, and the house on the ranch was not affected.

Call The Bee's Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015.

By Bee Staff

The Sacramento City Fire Department is fighting a large grass fire in the 2000 block of Meadowview Road, near the old California Highway Patrol Academy, said Capt. Jim Doucette.

No homes are threatened at this time, said Doucette, a fire department spokesman.

By Bee Staff

Firefighters have extinguished a large, two-alarm grass fire at West Elverta Road and Highway 99 this afternoon, said Capt. Jim Douchette, spokesman for the Sacramento City Fire Department.

No structures were involved.

High winds hampered firefighters and spread the smell of smoke over parts of Sacramento County.

No other details were available.

By Bee Staff

The Sacramento Fire Department extinguished a fire at Morrison and Western avenues this afternoon that burned a travel trailer and an outbuilding, Capt. Jim Doucette, a department spokesman, said.

Callers to The Bee reported seeing thick black smoke coming from the north Sacramento area.

Doucette said the fire "went to two alarms" and was contained at about 1:20 p.m.

The fire also spread to a field and winds whipped the fire toward a nearby elementary school. But the field had been abated and the school was not threatened, Doucette said.

However, the Morey Avenue School was evacuated as a precaution.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

One man suffered first- and second-degree burns to his hands in a fire that burned about 4 acres of grass in North Highlands this afternoon.

Assistant Chief Brian Rice of the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District said the fire, which started about 1 p.m. in the 6200 block of Watt Avenue, was sparked by a lawn mower at a church. Ten fire companies, a helicopter and a bulldozer were called in to fight the fire, which was brought under control in about 50 minutes.

Rice said they were able to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby buildings.

He said one citizen suffered burns to his hands trying to fight the fire and was taken to an area hospital.

Rice said what started as a small grass fire spread quickly due to the warm weather and a breeze.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke at (916) 321-5287.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A two-story house near Rancho Cordova suffered heavy damage in a fire this morning.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District crews responded to a report of a building on fire at 9411 Mira del Rio Drive at 10:42 a.m. They arrived to find a fire in front part of the house that quickly spread to the second story.

Because of the fire's rapid spread, the incident commander ordered a second alarm, according to a fire district news release.

Firefigthers were able to contain the fire and save the contents of the garage, but every other room of the house sustained heavy fire damage.

The occupant of the house, a 24-year-old man, was sleeping when the fire started. He was alerted to the fire by a gardener knocking on the door just as the smoke detector began to sound, the news release said.

The man was able to get out of the house with two family dogs, but a cat died in the fire.

The Metro Fire arson investigator is investigating the cause of the fire.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke at (916) 321-5287.

By Robert D. Dávila
bdavila@sacbee.com

A two-alarm fire destroyed an auto-repair business early this morning at Church and Elm streets in Roseville.

No one was injured in the overnight fire at Sal's Garage, 100 Elm St. The cause was under investigation, officials said.

Call The Bee's Robert D. Dávila, (916) 321-1077.

By Robert D. Dávila and Cathy Locke
bdavila@sacbee.com

southsacfire.jpgA four-alarm fire overnight caused major damage at an apartment building near Meadowview Road and Freeport Boulevard, displacing many families who were awakened by smoke alarms and fled the fast-moving flames.

Flames that broke out around 2 a.m. today quickly spread through the common attic at the 24-apartment building in the 7600 block of Amherst Street, Sacramento fire Capt. Jim Doucette said. Several upstairs units were destroyed by flames, while water damaged many downstairs dwellings.

"There were heavy flames on the top floor by the time firefighters arrived," Doucette said. "Smoke detectors woke up many people, so that's a good thing."

No injuries were reported. Meanwhile, the Red Cross has set up an evacuation center for residents at the nearby Sam Pannell Meadowview Community Center, 2450 Meadowview Road.

Fire investigators this afternoon ruled the cause to be "undetermined," saying they could not rule out electrical problems or malfunctions, Doucette said.

Call The Bee's Robert D. Dávila, (916) 321-1077.

Photo by Randy Pench/rpench@sacbee.com

Sacramento Fire Battalion Chief Chris Ortiz talks about the fire.
(Video by Randy Pench/rpench@sacbee.com)

By Robert D. Dávila
bdavila@sacbee.com

A four-alarm fire overnight caused major damage at an apartment building near Meadowview Road and Freeport Boulevard, displacing many families who were awakened by smoke alarms and fled the fast-moving flames.

Flames that broke out around 2 a.m. today quickly spread through the common attic at the 24-apartment building in the 7600 block of Amherst Street, Sacramento fire Capt. Jim Doucette said. Several upstairs units were destroyed by flames, while water damaged many downstairs dwellings.

"There were heavy flames on the top floor by the time firefighters arrived," Doucette said. "Smoke detectors woke up many people, so that's a good thing."

No injuries were reported, and the cause is under investigation. Meanwhile, the Red Cross has set up an evacuation center for residents at the nearby Sam Pannell Meadowview Community Center, 2450 Meadowview Road.

Call The Bee's Robert D. Dávila, (916) 321-1077.

By Robert D. Dávila
bdavila@sacbee.com

A four-alarm fire that destroyed an Arden-Arcade apartment complex under construction on Friday was caused by a person, but it is not clear if the act was accidental or arson, officials said.

More than 80 firefighters from the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District and the Sacramento Fire Department responded to the fire at the three-story complex at the 1181 Fulton Ave.

The cause remains under investigation, Metro Fire Capt. Christian Pebbles said.

Anyone with information is asked to call an arson tip line at (916) 859-3775.

Call The Bee's Robert D. Dávila, (916) 321-1077.

By Robert D. Davila
bdavila@sacbee.com

Firefighters will conduct controlled burning training exercises Thursday and Friday in Galt and Elk Grove.

The Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department will perform the training exercises for firefighters between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., a news release states.

In Elk Grove, crews will conduct a burn at the Elk Grove Airport property on Grant Line Road. In Galt, firefighters will burn vegetation on a 20-acre parcel at 10278 Kost Road, directly south of Meadowview Park.

The exercises are contingent upon approval from the Sacramento Air Quality Management District, officials said.

Call The Bee's Robert D. Davila, (916) 321-1077.

By Chelsea Phua
cphua@sacbee.com

A four-alarm fire late Friday destroyed an apartment complex under construction in the Arden Arcade area, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District officials said.

More than 80 firefighters from Sacramento Metro and the Sacramento City Fire Department brought the fire at 1181 Fulton Ave. under control in 48 minutes, said Capt. Christian Pebbles, Sac Metro spokesman. No injuries were reported.

"This was a lot of fire," Pebbles said.

Firefighters received a call about 11 p.m. about the fire at the three-story complex that was only made up of wooden frames, Pebbles said.

Several power lines were compromised and failed because of the intense heat, he said.

Greg Tomberlin, 55, lives in a nearby apartment complex. He heard an explosion and came out to see what happened.

"The sky was filled with ashes, solid orange ashes. It looked like the Fourth of July," said Tomberlin, who added that the flames were twice as high as the three-story building.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Call The Bee's Chelsea Phua, (916) 321-1132.

By Chelsea Phua
cphua@sacbee.com

A man in his late 30s died Friday evening in an apartment fire, fire officials said.

The man has not been identified, pending notification of next of kin.

Sacramento fire officials said the fire happened about 7:15 p.m. in an apartment in the 3000 block of D Street in east Sacramento.

When firefighters arrived, they forced entry through a door into the apartment and found the man lying near the door. They took him to the UC Davis Medical Center.

Firefighters put out the flames in 12 minutes.

The man was later pronounced dead at the hospital, officials said. A second person not directly harmed by the fire complained of chest pain.

Officials said the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Call The Bee's Chelsea Phua, (916) 321-1132.

By Bill Lindelof
Lindelof@sacbee.com

Two apartments in Roseville were heavily damaged this morning by a fast-moving, three-alarm fire.

There were no injuries.

The fire in upstairs units at the Autumn Oaks Apartment complex, 1451 Kingswood Drive, broke out about 10:30 a.m.

When crews arrived flames and smoke were visible coming out of windows. The fire was also racing through the attic.

"Once it got into the common attic, it started taking off," said Division Chief Dennis Mathiesen of the Roseville Fire Department.

Firefighters brought water hoses upstairs to put out the blaze inside the units. Firefighters also climbed onto second story to cut holes in the roof, allowing heat and gases to escape.

Crews made holes in the ceilings of the fire damaged apartments to shoot streams of water into the attic.

Roseville and Rocklin fire department firefighters responded to the blaze.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A home near Curtis Park suffered heavy fire damage this morning, including a collapsed roof, but the occupants escaped injury.

The roof fell in while firefighters searched the structure for possible victims. No firefighters were hurt.

The fire started about 3:45 a.m. in the 2400 block of 18th Avenue in the Curtis Park neighborhood just south of Sutterville Road.

Firefighters responded to the call in about four minutes and began to search the home. Residents of the single-story home were outside when they arrived, alerted by smoke detectors in the home.

While firefighters were inside, a significant portion of the roof collapsed, said Sacramento Fire Department Capt. Jim Doucette. A second alarm was sounded because of danger to nearby homes and the possibility that firefighters could be trapped.

The family had used their fireplace Sunday night, but fire investigators say they are unsure if that is what caused the blaze.

The entire roof eventually collapsed after the fire swept through the home.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District firefighters quickly extinguished a fire that burned part of a roof on an Arden Park home.

The fire was reported at 5:23 a.m. in the 1500 block of El Nido Way and was contained by firefighters 22 minutes later.

Cause of the fire is under investigation.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

An early morning two-alarm fire hit a laundromat in a Northgate strip mall.

The 2 a.m. fire at Northgate Boulevard and West El Camino Avenue was quickly extinguished by Sacramento Fire Department firefighters. There were no injuries.

A fire investigator was working to determine the cause.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

UC Davis officials say a fire that destroyed a coffee kiosk today on campus is of suspicious origin.

No injuries were reported in the fire, reported about 6 a.m. in the small building near the university's law school.

Coffee huts are located at various spots around campus.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Carlos Alcala
calcala@sacbee.com

A fire that broke out in a trailer just before midnight today sent a Sacramento man to the hospital with critical injuries, fire department officials reported.

Sacramento Fire Department and Sacramento Metro Fire crews arrived and rescued the man, who has not been identified, from a 28-foot travel trailer in a trailer park in the 8500 block of Folsom Boulevard.

A neighbor tried to control the blaze with a garden hose before firefighters arrived, said Sacramento Fire Department Capt. Jim Doucette. Nevertheless, there was heavy fire at the front of the trailer.

The victim was found unconscious in the back of the trailer, suffering from burns and smoke inhalation.

Cause and origin of the fire are under investigation, but it is believed to have been accidental.

Call The Bee's Carlos Alcala, (916) 321-1987.

By Niesha Lofing
nlofing@sacbee.com

A Twin Rivers police officer is being recommended for an award after performing CPR on a 72-year-old man at a fire scene.

Officer Dan Birch was on patrol at 5 p.m. Friday when he noticed a plume of smoke near Marconi Avenue and Connie Drive, according to a news release by the Twin Rivers Police Department.

Birch was the first unit on scene and called the fire department, then got out of his car and went towards the fire that was coming form the back of a tire shop and adjacent home.

The tire shop's owner, Manuel Mendoza, was trying to put out the fire with a garden hose and Birch began helping him. When Birch went to move his patrol car for the incoming fire trucks, the homeowner told him that someone was on the ground.

Birch came back and found Mendoza on the ground and unresponsive. He immediately started CPR and kept at it for three to four minutes until Sacramento City and Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District crews arrived and began advanced life support treatment, the release states.

Mendoza's pulse was restored before he was taken by ambulance to a local hospital.

Fire and medical crews said Mendoza likely would not have lived had Birch not been there.

Police Chief Christopher Breck said Birch's service went exceeded the department's expectations.

"I am honored and humbled to be associated with a hero," Breck said in a written statement.

Birch is being recommended for the department's Life Saving Medal Award.

Call The Bee's Niesha Lofing, (916) 321-1270.

By Chelsea Phua and Carlos Alcala
calcala@sacbee.com

A man who died after being pulled from his burning Watt Avenue home has been identified as Antonio M. Brunozzi.

Good Samaritans attempted to pull Brunozzi, 60, from his burning home on the 1400 block of Watt Avenue. He was taken to an area hospital with severe burns and succumbed.

The one-alarm fire was reported before 8 p.m., and neighbors tried to slow flames with a garden hose before firefighters arrived.

The neighbor used the hose to keep the fire at bay and tried to drag the victim out, yelling for help at the same time. Another man heard his cries and helped the neighbor pull the victim outside.

When firefighters arrived, they found the victim lying on the front porch and began treating him, officials said. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and did not find anyone else inside the home.

Assistant Chief Brian Rice of the Metropolitan Fire District praised the men's actions as heroic, saying that they put their lives at risk to save the victim.

"Had these people not try to get him out, then that person would have perished absolutely," Rice said.

The neighbor was transported to hospital for moderate smoke inhalation, Rice said.

Fire officials said the cause of the fire remains under investigation. Rice said the interior of the house was destroyed.

The cause has not been determined, Rice said. The fire, believed to have started accidentally, began in a bedroom, he said.

Call The Bee's Carlos Alcala, (916) 321-1079.

By Bill Lindelof and Chelsea Phua
blindelof@sacbee.com

A North Highlands apartment fire that displaced 11 people and killed a dog was an accident, though its cause has not been determined, fire officials said.

Damage from the two-alarm blaze Tuesday night on the 3800 block of Madison Avenue was estimated at $450,000 by Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District officials.

Firefighters arriving at 9:38 p.m. found a second-story apartment burning, and the blaze spread to adjacent units.

Eventually, 38 firefighters responded within 13 minutes to battle the blaze.

Three apartments in the building were deemed uninhabitable after the fire was extinguished.

No firefighters or civilians were injured, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District spokesman Capt. Christian Pebbles said.

The dog was found dead inside one of the burnt apartments.

The American Red Cross was called to help find accommodations for displaced residents.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A two-alarm blaze in Woodland this morning has been extinguished.

Firefighters mopped and investigators began looking for a cause for the blaze that swept through the home, sending flames shooting through the roof.

The 5:30 a.m. fire broke out in a home on West Cross Street near Ashley Avenue on the west side of town.

Firefighters from several agencies poured water on the burning residence, preventing the fire from spreading to neighboring homes.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

West Sacramento firefighters fought a two-alarm blaze that destroyed an industrial building along South River Road in West Sacramento this morning.

FIREPHOTO.jpgThe fire (left) at EBI Aggregates, 1201 South River Road, broke out at about 5:30 a.m. Firefighters poured water on the building to extinguish the blaze that was visible from Highway 50.

Firefighters by 8 a.m. were mopping up the blaze that gutted the building

Some witnesses reported hearing an explosion from the area of the fire, according West Sacramento Fire Department division chief Gary Fredericksen.

When firefighters arrived, the sounds of exploding propane and acetylene tanks in the 15,000-square-feet building could still be heard.

Cause of the fire is under investigation. Fredericksen said homeless people have broken into the building before.

The fire produced extensive smoke, which blew across the Sacramento River into parts of Sacramento such as South Land Park and the Pocket area.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

Bee photo and video by Randy Pench

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Sacramento fire authorities say the cause of a blaze that swept through a south-area Sikh temple is suspicious.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District firefighters responded to the blaze at the Sikh house of worship about 11:30 p.m. Thursday.

The temple, originally built as a house and later converted into a Sikh temple is on the 7600 block of Rangeview Lane, near Highway 99 and Stockton Boulevard.

Two rooms in the structure were burning when firefighters arrived.

Firefighters searched the building after quickly extinguishing the blaze. The lone occupant escaped after being awakened by a smoke detector, said fire district spokesman Capt. Rusty Dupray.

The fire remains under investigation, and an arson investigator has determined that the fire is suspicious, officials said. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has been notified.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bill Lindelof

blindelof@sacbee.com

A man has died in a Citrus Heights mobile home fire, officials said this morning.

The 63-year-old man so far is unidentified.

Fire officials said the man, who is disabled, has a history of smoking in bed.

Firefighters previously had been called to the address.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District firefighters were called to fight the blaze, which was reported in the Imperial Manor Mobile Home Park on the 5900 block of Auburn Boulevard near Greenback Lane about 7:30 a.m.

Cause of the fire is under investigation.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A fire in an Elk Grove concrete pumping business was extinguished this morning after causing extensive damage.

The two-alarm fire was reported at 2:39 a.m. in the 9800 block of Kent Street near Elk Grove Boulevard and Waterman Road.

A fire department spokesman said the fire caused an estimated $1 million in damage.

Cause of the fire is under investigation by the Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department.

No injuries were reported, a spokesman for the district said.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Cause of a house fire in Carmichael this morning is under investigation.

The fire was reported at 7:46 a.m., and firefighters from the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District were on the scene about four minutes later.

Firefighters had the fire under control 10 minutes after arriving at the home in the 3200 block of Root Avenue.

Smoke was visible from the roof when firefighters arrived at the scene. No injuries were reported.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A fire at a Rancho Cordova duplex appears to have been caused by clothing left on a lighted lamp.

Firefighters responded to the fire on De Soto Way near Routier Road about 6 a.m. today. They quickly extinguished the flames in the side of the duplex where a woman, her husband and their son and daughter reside.

The son did not spend the night at the home, but the fire occurred in his room. Clothing he left on a lamp in his room heated up and ignited, fire officials said.

The fire caused about $50,000 in damage, said Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District spokesman Christian Pebbles.

"Good housekeeping is a major part of fire prevention," said Pebbles.

The father and his daughter were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. The neighbor next door was treated at UC Davis Medical Center for smoke inhalation.

The woman who lives in the burned home initially could not be found. Fire officials say she might have information that could reveal what caused the blaze.

When she was located, the woman was able to tell investigators that the fire was accidental and caused by the clothing on the lamp.
Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Loretta Kalb
lkalb@sacbee.com

A vacant home in south Sacramento was ripped by explosion and fire shortly after 2 a.m. today - the fifth empty house hit by fire in the area in a week.

But authorities said there is no indication that the latest incident was linked to other vacant homes that burned in recent days.

"This was either a natural gas explosion or some type of explosion inside the house," Captain Jim Doucette said. The house at 3944 17th Ave. in Oak Park was destroyed.

No one was inside.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. crews found no signs of a natural gas leak but, Doucette said, investigators would return to the scene on Monday to do further work.

On Wednesday, two abandoned home were hit by fire and two others burned earlier in the week in the south Sacramento area.

Wednesday, a 6:15 a.m. fire destroyed a small abandoned home in the 7400 block of Persimmon Avenue, near Mack Road and Franklin Boulevard.

Earlier that day, Sacramento firefighters extinguished, what authorities called a suspicious fire, in an abandoned house in Oak Park. That fire was reported in the 4700 block of 36th Street, across the street from another vacant Oak Park house that burned on Monday.

Doucette said the 36th Street fire appeared to be deliberate. Investigators were unable to determine the cause of the other Oak Park fire, he said. The fires "were probably related in terms of transients trying to stay warm or whatever inside the home," Doucette said.

The first in the series of fires occurred Sunday night in a vacant house in the Fruitridge neighborhood in the 5900 block of Clover Manor Way.

Call The Bee's Loretta Kalb, (916) 321-1073.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A Fair Oaks man was treated for minor burns and smoke inhalation Friday night following a fire that caused major damage to his home in the 5100 block of Oak Point Way.

Firefighters with the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District arrived at 7:19 p.m. to find flames shooting 50 feet into the air and threatening neighboring homes. The 911 call was delayed, which gave time for the fire to intensify, according to a department news release. It took 34 firefighters 19 minutes to bring the fire under control.

Damage to the structure was estimated at $400,000. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

If a home is on fire, residents should leave immediately and call 911 from a cell phone or a neighbor's house, fire officials said.

From Bill Lindelof:

Two more abandoned houses were hit by fire this morning, driving to four the total of vacant homes to burn this week in the greater south Sacramento area.

The most recent blaze burned down a small home in the 7400 block of Persimmon Avenue near Mack Road and Franklin Boulevard.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District personnel are still looking into the cause of the blaze that was reported about 6:15 a.m.

Fire district spokesman Capt. Christian Pebbles said that the house was abandoned.

Earlier today, Sacramento firefighters put out what authorities called a suspicious fire in an abandoned house in Oak Park.

The fire, which was reported about 3 a.m., was on the 4700 block of 36th Street directly across from another vacant house that burned early Monday morning.

The fire this morning on 36th Street started outside the garage and then entered the attic, causing heavy roof damage.

A fire engine company was on the scene in less than four minutes.

Sacramento Fire Department spokesman Capt. Jim Doucette said the boarded-up house that burned this morning was well-involved in flames when crews arrived.

The cause of both Oak Park fires is being investigated. Fire officials are calling this morning's fire on 36th Street an "incendiary act."

"It is obviously suspicious," said Doucette. "A lot of times transients living in these homes set fire, and sometimes people just get tired of looking at a boarded-up houses."

Another fire in a vacant house occurred Sunday night several miles away in the Fruitridge neighborhood on the 5900 block of Clover Manor Way.

By Melody Gutierrez
mgutierrez@sacbee.com

A man died Saturday evening when his upstairs apartment caught fire on Carro Drive in unincorporated Sacramento County, a firefighter spokesman said.

Neighbors said they heard the man yelling for help, but attempts to save him were unsuccessful.

Firefighters suspect there were no working fire detectors in the "severely damaged" apartment in the 900 block of that street and just north of Swanston Park, said Capt. Christian Pebbles, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District spokesman.

The man, described as in his 50s, is believed to have lived alone. Pebbles said the man had caregivers, but he was unsure whether he was disabled.

"I saw the flames and I just ran over," said Patrick Worley, 21. "I wrapped a shirt around my face and got inside. I heard him say 'Help me.'"

But, Worley said the fire and smoke were too much and he had to get out.

"I yelled 'Go to the window,'" said Worley, who was visiting a friend on Carro Drive and did not know the victim.

The fire also displaced two families in the fourplex. The unit below the fire scene was unoccupied.

Angel Salazar, 27, was one of those displaced.

Salazar said his apartment was not damaged and just smelled like smoke. He said his brother-in-law's apartment next to his had some minor damage.

Salazar was outside when he heard someone yelling about the fire. He said his first reaction was to run to his apartment and get his toddler and girlfriend out.

"It was scary," he said.

A call to 911 was placed at 5:12 p.m. and firefighters arrived three minutes later, Pebbles said. The fire was put out at 5:23 p.m.

This was the second fire on Carro Drive since 2001, when 18 people were left homeless after a fire destroyed a fourplex on the same block.

From Carlos Alcala:

Sacramento police rescued a 17-year-old driver from his burning car today, saving his life, fire officials reported.

The car crashed at Darnel Way and Riverside Boulevard not long after midnight this morning.

When firefighters arrived, they found the car in flames.

Police officers had already used a fire extinguisher to try to control the flames so they could pull the driver from the car, which had crashed into a concrete wall, according to Fire Capt. Jim Doucette.

Firefighters took the driver to a local hospital with major injuries and burns. Had it not been for the police, the driver likely would have died, firefighters reported.

The rescuers were Officers Kawasaki and Suehowicz, according to Sacramento Police Department spokesman Konrad von Shoech.


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From Bill Lindelof:

A chimney fire that spread into the walls of an Elk Grove home Wednesday night has prompted fire officials to issue a safety reminder to help prevent such accidental blazes.

The fire in a two-story home in the 8400 block of Blue Maiden Court in the West Vineyard neighborhood of northeastern Elk Grove at about 10 p.m. forced firefighters to cut into the wall. The fire then was extinguished, and no injuries were reported.

The house suffered an estimated $50,000 in damage. Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department firefighters were assisted by personnel from the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District.

Cosumnes CSD officials provide these safety tips:

• Get wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys and chimney connectors inspected annually by a professional cleaner. Have them cleaned when advised by a chimney pro.

• Don't forget to open the fireplace damper before lighting.

• Don't light a fireplace fire without a screen in place to stop sparks from flying into room.

• Only use seasoned wood. Green wood, with high moisture content, is likely to lead to a creosote build-up in a chimney and might result in a chimney fire.

• Make sure ashes are completely cooled before disposing of them. Douse them and allow overnight cooling in a metal container.

davis.JPG1.JPGBee Staff

The law of unintended consequences was in full operation when a 68-year-old man threw a flammable liquid on his roommate during an argument - and the roommate lit himself on fire, a Sacramento Police Department crime summary indicates.

At about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, officers were called to a residence in the 200 block of Arrowrock Road.

Officers gave this chain of events:

The victim was drinking with his roommate when they got into an argument. The suspect threatened to throw camping fuel on him and then did.

The victim took out his lighter and lit his own clothes on fire, not expecting the clothes to ignite "quite so rapidly."

The victim stripped off his burning clothes and then called police.

The suspect, Johnny Davis, 68, was booked into jail on suspicion of assault with caustic chemicals, a felony. Online jail records indicate he is being held on $120,000 bail.

The victim apparently was not seriously hurt.

From Bill Lindelof:

A two-alarm fire damaged two apartments in North Sacramento Tuesday night, forcing nine adults and three children to find a new place to live.

In addition, a man was stabbed by a woman after fleeing the fire. Her motive was not clear, Sacramento police said.

The fire at 333 Barrette Ave. was reported at 9:23 p.m. to Sacramento Fire Department dispatchers. When firefighters arrived they saw the top floor of the two-story apartment house on fire.

A second-alarm was sounded for other firefighters to assist. Crews were able to bring the blaze under control before more apartments were damaged. There were no injuries.

The American Red Cross responded to help the displaced residents with housing needs. The fire is under investigation.

Chavez.JPGAs one of the apartment residents was leaving the fire, he was confronted by a woman looking for an occupant from another apartment, police said. When the man answered he did not know of the person's whereabouts, the woman stabbed him in the chest.

Sacramento police officers arrested Sonia Chavez, 42, pictured at left, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

The stabbing victim was taken to the hospital. His condition was not immediately known, but his wound was not considered to be life-threatening.


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From Kim Minugh:

Fire damaged a Del Paso Heights apartment Thursday evening, according to authorities.

No residents of the North Avenue complex were injured in the 5 p.m. blaze, said Sacramento fire Capt. Jim Doucette. One firefighter, however, might have suffered a fractured arm when he fell while battling the fire.

Firefighters arrived at the complex to find a downstairs unit engulfed in flames that were threatening the upstairs apartment, Doucette said. Crews extinguished the fire within minutes.

Doucette said the fire mostly was kept to the kitchen. Investigators believe the fire might have started by the stove and oven, Doucette said.

The lone occupant of the apartment was offered housing assistance from the American Red Cross, Doucette said.

From Bill Lindelof:

A portable classroom used for storage burned this morning at Antelope View Charter School.

The fire caused no injuries and was extinguished before spreading to other structures on the campus at 3243 Center Court Lane in Antelope.

Officials for Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District said investigators have not ruled out an electrical problem as possible cause.

From Ed Fletcher

State fire officials said today they believe the 49 Fire, which destroyed 63 homes and several businesses in August, was intentionally set.

"We have ruled every other cause out," said Daniel Berlant, a Cal Fire spokesman.

To move the investigation along, the agency today announced a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.

"Arson is a very serious crime," Berlant said. "Anytime we have an arson case we take it very seriously."

Officials believe there were actually two fires set 20 minutes and a 1/4 mile apart.

The first call about a fast-moving fire at Highway 49 and Rock Creek Road came in at 2:22 p.m. Aug. 31. At 2:42 p.m., another fire 1/4 mile east was reported, officials said.

High winds quickly merged the fires, making matters much worse, Berlant said.

The fire spread across nearly 350 acres in north Auburn, off Highway 49.

Anyone with information should contact the Cal Fire Arson Hotline at 1 (800) 468-4408.

From Bill Lindelof:

A teen talking in the early morning hours on a cell phone and a working smoke detector allowed a family of 10 to escape from a house fire today.

The fire was reported at 2 a.m. at a house on the 2100 block of Matson Drive in Meadowview.

"Smoke detectors alerted a 16-year-old girl," said Sacramento Fire Department Capt. Jim Doucette. "Apparently, she was awake talking on her cell phone. She was able to alert her family and they escaped safely."

Seven children and three adults who lived at the home were not injured but the house suffered significant damage, he said.

"We are crediting the working smoke detectors saving the day," said Doucette.

henry_patrick_john.jpgFrom Ed Fletcher:

A pursuit of a suspected thief sparked a 60-acre fire Wednesday afternoon after a Lincoln man tried to evade police through an open field, igniting bone-dry grass.

The incident started at 12:13 p.m. with a report of a man attempting to steal a generator from a Secret Ravine Parkway construction site, said Dee Dee Gunther, Roseville Police Department spokeswoman.

When police arrived, the man fled, prompting a 13-minute pursuit. With the police on his tail, the man left Diamond Woods Circle, driving a 1995 four-door Saturn into the open field.

Spark from the vehicle ignited the fire, Gunther said, but police quickly took Patrick John Henry (left photo), 40, into custody.

He was arrested on suspicion of grand theft, evading a police officer with disregard for public safety, resisting arrest and violating parole. He is being held without bail in the Roseville City Jail.

The fire burned grassland before being contained, Gunther said. Units from Roseville Fire Department, Cal Fire and fire agencies from throughout the area responded, she said.

The fire burned near Diamond Woods Circle and the Cincinnati Avenue/Sunset Industrial area of Roseville, Gunther said. No structures in the area were damaged, she said.

About 4,400 customers of Roseville Electric suffered a power outage for about an hour, a Roseville Electric official said.

One of the customers affected was the Westfield Galleria at Roseville shopping mall. Power was restored about 1:30 p.m.

From Bill Lindelof:

A body was found by firefighters extinguishing a blaze in an Arden Arcade apartment Tuesday night.

Authorities have not released the victim's identity, pending family notification.

Fire companies were confronted by a large blaze burning in a downstairs apartment in a complex on the 2400 block of Arden Way. The fire was controlled in about 10 minutes by 18 firefighters.

Four apartments were damaged by fire or smoke. Two familes were assisted with housing by the Red Cross, a Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District news release states.

Damage was estimated to be about $200,000.

From Bee Staff:

The Sacramento Fire Department says a playground fire at Charles Jensen Park early today was deliberately set.

In a news release, Capt. Jim Doucette said a fire investigator has determined arson caused the fire at the payground near Bing Maloney Golf Course off Freeport Boulevard.

Firefighters arrived in just over 5 minutes after the department was notified at 6:17 a.m. The fire destroyed part of the playground.

There are no suspects. Anyone with information can contact the Sacramento Fire Department Arson Tip Line at (916) 808-8732 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP.

From Li Lou:

A fire that has scorched 1,200 acres in Colusa County along Highway 20 continues to burn today, sending smoke into the Capay and Napa valleys.

Officials say they expect to fire to be fully contained Friday. It is 40 percent contained now.

The blaze started about 6 p.m. Monday northwest of Rumsey along Highway 20 and quickly spread through heavy brush. It is burning in the Cache Creek Wilderness Area and has threatened no structures, said Kevin Colburn, public information officer for Cal Fire.

About 700 firefighters and 32 engines are involved in the fight. One firefighter suffered minor burns, Colburn said.

Cause of the fire is not yet determined.

Colburn said he expects smoky conditions to remain in neighboring regions for the next few days, causing breathing problems for some people.

From Kim Minugh and Chelsea Phua:

Sacramento police are calling this afternoon's fatal house fire in Hollywood Park an "unfortunate accident" rather than a crime, according to authorities.

The investigation into the circumstances leading up to the fire ion the 2100 block of Shielah Way continues, but there are no indications of foul play, said Officer Konrad Von Schoech, police spokesman.

In what appears to be a bizarre coincidence, Von Schoech said neighbors called police to the home about 11:30 a.m. because a man and a woman were arguing in the street.

Officers contacted the man and the woman, in her mid 80s, but found no basis for any legal action, Von Schoech said. Instead, the two roommates - who share no familial or amorous relationship - agreed to separate.

The man went to a work shed in the backyard and the woman to a neighbor's house, Von Schoech said.

Less than two hours later, Sacramento city firefighters responded to a fire at the home, said Capt. Jim Doucette, department spokesman.

The blaze appears to have begun in a detached garage in the back of the house, and was spreading to the main house's attic when firefighters arrived, Doucette said.

As they put out the fire, firefighters discovered an adult man's body in or near the garage, Doucette said. Sacramento County Coroner's officials later identified the man as Jules A. Arnould, 69, of Sacramento.

Von Schoech said the dead man is believed to be the man contacted by police earlier in the day.

Bee Staff

A Citrus Heights structure fire produced "raining fire" Thursday afternoon, hampering efforts to fight a structure blaze.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District firefighters quickly determined that multiple palm trees more than 50 feet tall were producing the rain of fire, according to a news release. Also complicating the fire battle was burning vegetation, fences, an outbuilding, a power pole and a propane tank, the release states.

A second alarm was called to keep the blaze from spreading.

Children from Grand Oaks Elementary School were sheltered in place due to the threat of an explosion from a propane tank, the release states.

It took 25 minutes to bring the fire under control. There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians, the release states.

Cause of the fire is undetermined.

From Bill Lindelof:

Fire officials say full containment of the wild-land blaze in Yuba and Nevada counties near the community of Dobbins is within sight.

All evacuations have been lifted, and the fire that has burned 3,891 acres is 85 percent contained, a Cal Fire spokesman said today.

The fire, which has burned brush and timber since Friday, is expected to be totally contained Saturday.

Rugged terrain has impeded firefighters battling the blaze, but they continue to patrol for signs of smoke and remaining smoldering spots.

Cal Fire officials said investigators have confirmed that the initial fire was started by a bird that hit a power line, but cause of another fire in the area remains under investigation.

Bee Staff

Grading equipment caused the six-alarm fire that burned more than 1,000 acres in southeastern Sacramento County on Wednesday, according to the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District.

The fire burned mostly open land but did burn one out-building and several old vehicles, a news release states. No one was hurt by the blaze.

The fire investigation is ongoing, Capt. Rusty Dupray, fire district spokesman, said Thursday. What liability, if any, the operator of the grading faces is yet to be determined, he said.

The fire started near the intersection of Florin and Knox roads in Sacramento County, the release states. The windy conditions spread the fire towards Bradshaw and Elder Creek roads as the blaze grew to more than 1000 acres before over 40 grass rigs, engines, water tenders and a bulldozer brought it under control, the release states.

The fire was extinguished by fire units from Metro Fire, the cities of Sacramento and Folsom, and from the Consumnes and Wilton fire districts, the release states.

Some homes were threatened, but fire units were able to save them from any damage, the release states.

From Chelsea Phua

Two wildland fires in Sacramento burned about a dozen acres Wednesday afternoon, fire officials said.

The first fire, reported shortly after 2 p.m., was behind Cal Expo along the American River Parkway and burned about 10 acres, Sacramento Fire Department spokesman Capt. Jim Doucette said.

The fire threatened a group of high voltage power lines, but firefighters were able to control the blaze in about an hour without any damage to the power lines.

The second fire, reported at about 3:40 p.m., threatened a few homes on Stoner Drive in South Sacramento.

The causes of both two-alarm fires are under investigation.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District firefighters also assisted in both fires.

From Kim Minugh:

Sacramento Fire Department officials say the city's rolling "brownouts" of fire stations likely did not contribute to the size of a Tahoe Park home fire this morning, contrary to earlier cries that a station's closure delayed firefighters' response.

No one was hurt in the fire, which burned a home on 15th Avenue near 60th Street about 10:30 a.m., and the fire didn't spread to any nearby homes, said department spokesman Capt. Jim Doucette.

Nevertheless, Doucette earlier alleged, "it shouldn't have gotten as big as it did."

But after reviewing the call, Doucette said officials realized that Engine 6 - located at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and 8th Avenue in Oak Park - took about five and a half minutes to respond, rather than the seven minutes calculated earlier. Due to a miscommunication at the scene of the fire, the arrival time of the first unit was logged later than it should have been, Doucette said.

The department aims to respond to fires within five minutes, Doucette said.

On a normal day, Engine 10 - stationed at 65th Street and Fruitridge, just a mile and a half from the fire - would have responded, Doucette said. But the station closed today as part of a citywide cost-cutting strategy in which one station is shuttered each day, forcing other stations to absorb additional calls.

Doucette said that Engine 10 "no doubt" would've responded to the fire quicker than Engine 6 did, but he said the difference in response times probably would not have made a significant difference.

No one was home when the fire ignited. Investigators do not know what caused the blaze, Doucette said.

From Chelsea Phua

A 10-acre fire broke out at about 12:45 p.m. Friday at the Mather Golf Course, prompting an evacuation, fire officials said.

More than two dozen firefighters battled the blaze, which was fully contained by 4:15 p.m.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but fire investigators have not ruled out arson, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District Capt. Christian Pebbles said.

Pebbles also warned that people should be careful with ignitable or flammable materials, especially when using them outdoors under high temperatures.

From Nicole Williams:

A Sacramento man suffered second-degree burns on half of his body after an explosion erupted when he attempted to light a marijuana pipe in his bathroom earlier today, fire officials said.

The man, who is in his earlier 30s and a medical marijuana patient, had mixed butane with his pot and the chemical is likely the cause of the explosion, which knocked the bathroom wall off its foundation, said Jim Doucette, spokesman for the Sacramento Fire Department.

"It's not for sure that's what happened ... but whatever he was doing went wrong," Doucette said.

A second-level hazmat alarm was called because the Fire Department was initially unaware of the source of the blast, he said.

No one else was in the house at the time of the explosion, and the man was transported to a nearby hospital but is expected to recover, Doucette said.

From Nicole Williams:

A Sacramento resident and firefighter were injured in a two-alarm fire that destroyed one home and severely damaged two others on the 3700 block of Haywood Street in North Sacramento near Grant High School just before 2 p.m. today.

The fire started in the two-story home of an elderly woman, who was taken to the hospital after suffering burns on her feet and smoke inhalation and is expected to be recover, Sacramento Fire Department Capt. Jim Doucette said. The house has been destroyed. (An earlier version of this story mistakenly said it was a three-alarm fire.)

One Sacramento firefighter suffered a minor injury to his ankle while preventing the daughter of the elderly woman from running into the fire to look for her mother, who was already outside the house, according to a news release.

Six adults and two children have been displaced by the fire, which was initially logged in as a grass fire, states the release.

About 50 firefighters from the Sacramento Fire Department and the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District were on the scene five minutes after the call came in, Doucette said.

But before they arrived the fire had quickly spread to the two houses on either side of the blaze, Doucette said. It's unclear how the fire started or why it spread so quickly, but all houses are too damaged for residents to return home.

Crews were able to contain the fire within 45 minutes of their arrival and it was completely extinguished in 2 hours, he said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

From Christine Vovakes:

MOUNT HEBRON, SISKIYOU COUNTY -- The Tennant Fire, burning about 25 miles northeast of Weed, has consumed more than 4,100 acres and forced closure of a Union Pacific train track in the area, a Klamath National Forest spokesman said.

Approximately 28 structures in the rural areas of Jerome and Kegg, near the mountain community of Tennant, are threatened, forest spokesman Mel Cagle said.

The fire began Sunday afternoon beside Highway 97 near the turnoff to Tennant. The road, which is the main artery between Weed and Klamath Falls, Ore., remains open with a dense smoke advisory.

Winds of 20 mph on Monday pushed the flames into heavy brush and timber and quickly expanded the fire from its early-morning 1,000-acre burn estimate to 4,168 acres.

More than 690 fire personnel are battling the blaze, which is only 20 percent contained. Full containment is expected by Saturday, Cagle said.

From Bill Lindelof:

Residents of a burning Rio Linda home escaped this morning even though their smoke alarm did not work, the house was destroyed and one of their pets perished.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District Capt. Christina Pebbles said the residents of the home in the 700 block of Albemarle Avenue awoke about 3:30 a.m. and got out of the home uninjured with two of their dogs. A third dog died in the fire.

The smoke alarm did not function because the residents had the battery out of the device for some other use, said Pebbles.

"Smoke alarms are your best defense," said Pebbles. "Fortunately, these folks got out alive, but they did not have a battery in their smoke alarm because they had taken it out for something else. It's unclear how they woke up, because our senses are not designed to wake us up from smoke."

Arriving firefighters found the fire burning through the roof and residents already outside. Pebbles said it was too dangerous for firefighters to try to save the dog that remained in the house.

Instead, firefighters poured water on the blaze to prevent it from spreading to adjacent homes, Pebbles said. The roof eventually collapsed, and firefighters continued to douse the structure until flames were extinguished.

The fire's cause is unknown, though it started in the rear of the home, Pebbles said, noting that firefighters had not yet entered the charred structure because of remaining danger.

From Bill Lindelof:

Dozens of firefighters needed more than two hours to get a handle on a large grass fire early this morning north of Elverta.

The wild-land fire was reported about 11 p.m. Monday between Locust Road and Watt Avenue south of Baseline road. It burned more than 300 acres before firefighters extinguish extinguished it.

No structures were lost and there were no injuries. More than 60 firefighters from Sacramento City, Cal Fire, Placer County, Roseville and Pleasant Grove fire departments fought the blaze, putting it out about 1:30 a.m.

Cause of the fire is under investigation.

From Nicole Williams:

A fire that burned about an acre of Riverbend Park today has been fully contained by Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Department.

The fire was fought from the ground and by air attack, with the effort including six fire department units plus one helicopter, fire Capt. Christian Pebbles said.

No injuries or structural damage were reported, and now crews are "just kind of mopping it up," he said.

No cause has been determined, but fire officials are urging residents to be careful and avoid using power tools and equipment near dry grass.

"If there's a spark . . . that's all it takes," said Daniel Berlant, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman.

Pebbles said clean-up of Riverbend Park should be completed quickly.

"We want to get these guys outta here and rested up because it's going to be hot today," he said.

From Nicole Williams:

Firefighters are working to contain a fire burning about 8 acres of grass and brush near El Dorado Hills.

Initial helicopter assaults slowed the fire's advance, and hand crews and a bulldozer are making their way into the site, near Hickok and McCoy roads, said Jan Bray, a spokeswoman for California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Also involved are two air tankers, seven fire engines and two water tenders, Bray said.

No structures are yet threatened, and no evacuations have been necessary.

The fire primarily is feeding on brush and grass, and though a slight breeze is blowing, "high winds haven't picked up yet," Bray said.

The fire's cause is being investigated, Bray said.

Because of rising temperatures and drought conditions, even a small spark can cause a fire, said CalFire's Daniel Berlant.

"Fire activity is definitely picking up," he said. "And it is so important that Sacramento(-area) residents be extra careful."

From Bill Lindelof:

Five haystacks continue to burn this morning, the remnants of a large grass fire that was otherwise extinguished near Sacramento International Airport.

The fire was reported about 1:45 a.m. by personnel in the airport's air traffic control tower.

Firefighters arriving about 15 minutes later found a fast-spreading blaze, prompting second and third alarms.

No structures were threatened, but firefighters needed about two hours to control the fire. The haystacks will be allowed to burn themselves out.

Cause has not been determined.

From Gina Kim:

Two fire performers were arrested Saturday night and charged with assault after allegedly fighting with a Midtown resident and setting his hair on fire, police said.

Marc Johnson, 30, of Citrus Heights, and Peter Strait, 30, of Sacramento, were near the intersection of 18th and Q streets at about 10:40 p.m. Saturday mixing together liquids in buckets, which they then set afire in preparation for a fireball performance, said Sacramento Police Department spokesman Konrad von Schoech.

A 47-year-old man who lives on 18th street was concerned about safety and, along with a friend, confronted the men, von Schoech said.

An argument broke out and the resident was struck with a flaming ball of liquid that splattered on his hair, von Schoech said. The man was able to pat out the fire and was not transported to a hospital.

The fire performers were arrested under suspicion of recklessly causing fire resulting in great bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon and conspiracy.

They are both scheduled to appear in court Monday at 1:30 p.m. and are being held at Sacramento County's main jail.

From Bill Lindelof:

A fire that destroyed two dozen golf carts at Catta Verdera Country Club in Lincoln is under investigation.

The fire was reported Thursday by several people at about 2 p.m. When Lincoln firefighters arrived, they found a large building and an estimated 24 golf carts inside on fire.

In addition, 1,000 pounds of fertilizer caught on fire, officials said.

Lincoln firefighters poured water on the structure and other firefighters fought a nearby grassfire. Firefighters were able to keep adjacent structure damage to a minimum, fire officials said.

Damage to the cart storage building and the golf carts was estimated at more than $250,000. Firefighters from throughout Placer County responded to the fire.

From Nicole Williams:

More than 60 firefighters spent the night battling a fire on the Sutter Buttes mountain range in western Sutter County that has burned at least 1,200 acres, officials said.

SSC_P110906_4N9BUTTES.PDF.jpgThe fire started about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday.

The steep, rugged terrain has kept crews from determining if the fire has been fully contained, said Lt. Ernie Lizarraga of the Sutter County Fire Department.

Sutter County asked California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to perform an aerial sweep of the range later to determine how many acres have been burned and whether further action is needed. Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said a helicopter is scheduled to make the reconnaissance this morning.

Cal Fire, Yuba City Fire Department and volunteers have helped battle the fire.

No damage to structures or injuries have been reported, officials said.

"We'll just wait and see what's going on and preparing ourselves down here," Lizarraga said.

There is speculation that a power line caused the fire, but that has not been confirmed, said Lt. Jonathan Miller of Sutter County Fire Deparment

From Bill Lindelof:

As expected, Fouth of July was a busy night for Sacramento firefighters as engines and amubulances were kept rolling at a good clip from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Here are the calls by the numbers for that five-hour span:

Structure fires: four

Grass fires: 11

Vehicle fires: two

Dumpster fires: six

Fence fires: one

Trash fires: one

Calls for emergency medical: 37

Others, including helping law enforcement and hazardous material response: 21

That's a total of 83 calls for firefighters.

From Gina Kim:

Firefighters were forced to 4-wheel drive their emergency vehicles over the bike trail Saturday to reach a two-alarm wildfire along the American River Parkway North.

The blaze near Highway 160 and Northgate Boulevard was reported just after 7 p.m., said Capt. Jim Doucette of the Sacramento Fire Department. It was difficult for firefighters to access the flames because they were burning deep inside thick brush, Doucette said. The firefighters finally drove their vehicles over the bike trail along the American River and were able to put the fire out quickly.

Officials are still determining the cause of the fire.

From Gina Kim:

A two-story Oak Park home burned Saturday, capping off a busy Fourth of July for the Sacramento Fire Department but ending the day with no one hurt.

"It definitely could have been a lot worse," said city Fire Capt. Jim Doucette. "We were lucky and hopefully people are paying attention to the messages we've put out."

The two-alarm fire in the 3400 block of 12th Avenue was reported at 10:18 p.m. About 50 firefighters were successful in keeping the blaze from spreading to a home next door, Doucette said. The fire burned heavily in the back of the house and probably left about $65,000 worth of damage, he said.

The residents weren't at home when the fire sparked but there were illegal fireworks going off throughout the neighborhood when firefighters arrived, Doucette said.

"There's a good chance it was fireworks related, but I haven't been able to confirm that yet," Doucette said.

From Sarah Frier:

Nearing the finale of the Folsom Rodeo fireworks show Thursday night, a shell propelled into the stands, causing minor burns to six people, according to the Folsom Fire Department.

The children and adults were treated by Folsom Fire Department paramedics who were on the scene, Fire Chief Dan Haverty said.

There will still be fireworks at the show tonight, but the fireworks contractor has proposed shielding the fireworks trailer with heavy plywood so this doesn't happen again, Haverty said.

"In general (when handling fireworks) just make sure you follow directions and use caution," Battalion Chief Bret Worthington said.

From Bill Lindelof and Kim Minugh:

Sacramento County Coroner's deputies today have identified the woman killed in a mobile home fire as Linda K. Clifton, 61, of Sacramento.

Firefighters responded to the fire at a mobile home park at 3419 Killeen Circle just before 6 a.m. Monday, said Capt. Christian Pebbles, spokesman for the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District. After extinguishing the blaze, they found the woman inside the burned motor home, Pebbles said.

Cause of the fire is not yet known. Pebbles said investigators noted cigarette and candle usage and that "these have not been ruled out" as factors.

There was no smoke alarm in the mobile home, Pebbles said.

From Bill Lindelof:

Fire officials this morning are investigating the cause of a house fire that killed a woman and injured a man in Oak Park.

Fire investigators are exploring whether reports of fireworks being ignited in the area were a factor in the fire that burned a house in the 4500 block of 12th Avenue, trapping two elderly, disabled residents.

Reports of the blaze were received about 10:48 p.m., and firefighters arrived in four minutes, a fire department spokesman said. By then, the house was engulfed in fire and a citizen and Sacramento police were removing the man from the structure.

Firefighters entered the burning home and found the woman in the back bedroom. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

An adjacent home suffered fire damage, and its residents were provided temporary housing by the American Red Cross.

From Kim Minugh:

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District officials will hold a public meeting next week to discuss the closure of a fire station in Fair Oaks.

The meeting will be held from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 27, in the community room at 8890 Roediger Lane.

The station in question is No. 33, whose engine serves the communities of Orangevale and Fair Oaks. It is one of three stations that district officials will close to bridge an $11 million budget shortfall, caused by declining property tax revenues.

The shuttering of stations 33, 64 and 102 will save the district an estimated $4.5 million, according to district officials.

Next Saturday's meeting has been organized to provide information about the closure to the community and answer residents' questions, according to a district news release.

From Sarah Frier:

A grass fire consumed about 200 acres along Interstate 5 and Hood Franklin Road on Thursday afternoon, fire officials said.

No structures were damaged and no one was injured. It took 30 to 45 minutes for 12 engines from the Cosumnes Community Service District and helping agencies to get the fire under control by about 4:35 p.m., spokesman Steve Geissinger said.

Smoke slowed traffic on Interstate 5, he said.

Five small fires sprang up around the same time and firefighters were able to put out four of them quickly, Geissinger said.

The fifth grew to about 150 acres, burning from Interstate 5 to Franklin Boulevard, but didn't jump the street to the residential side, he said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

From Bill Lindelof:

Three fire stations in the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District will close in an effort to cut into an $11 million budget shortfall.

The district's board of directors took action to close the stations Thursday night.

Metro Fire, which serves suburban communities surrounding Sacramento, relies on property tax revenue, which has plummeted due to decreasing property value.

The closures are estimated to save the district $4.5 million. To make up the remainder, the district is considering possible layoffs of non-firefighters, buyouts and leaving unfilled open positions created by retirement.

The nature of remaining cuts has not yet been determined, said district spokesman Capt. Christian Pebbles.

"That is all in negotiation with labor and management," said Pebbles. "You are probably going to see some people go. We are going to have to."

The stations -- 33, 64, and 102 -- would be closed until better economic times when re-opening would be evaluated again, said Pebbles. The stations could be closed in about a month.

Station 33 is on Main Avenue in Orangevale, Station 64 is on Vancouver Drive in the Rosemont area and Station 102 is on Marconi Avenue near Eastern Avenue, Pebbles said.

The good news, Pebbles said, is the district will maintain an average fire response time of seven minutes. Response time is how long it takes between dispatchers receiving a call and when firefighters arrive on scene.

"When times were good and property values were high, we got fat," said Pebbles. "Now that the money is not there, we are getting leaner."

Pebbles said the district has an obligation to the community to make cuts. He said it is not anticipated that firefighters would be laid off.

About a year ago, the district hired a consulting firm to look into what fire stations could be closed with the least impact on response time.

"These fire stations that will be closed were not just pulled out of a hat," said Pebbles. "It was a strategic decision. The stations were chosen based on the ability of neighboring stations to respond quickly and the three stations having lower call volume than other stations."

He said Sac Metro employees have given up negotiated pay raises. The district will continue to tighten its belt to make it through tough times, he said.


From Kim Minugh:

A fire gutted a vacant two-story home in the Fruitridge neighborhood this morning, according to Sacramento Fire Capt. Jim Doucette.

The fire was quickly controlled, and no one was injured. However, firefighters were concerned about victims potentially being trapped inside because of security bars on the windows of the home, Doucette said.

Firefighters entered the home, and found no one inside. But Doucette warned that people should reconsider the use of safety bars on windows unless they have a safety release on them.

Some bars include a device, such as a pedal, that allows residents to release the bars from the inside of the home in the case of emergency, Doucette said.

Firefighters have the ability to remove bars from the outside, but it takes time, Doucette said.

"If you're trapped inside, it's usually too late," he said.

The cause of this morning's fire is unknown and is being investigated.

From Sandy Louey:

The Grass Valley Fire Department will be receiving a grant that will help pay for high-tech software and new fire hose.

The $28,660 grant is scheduled to be presented at 9 a.m. Friday at the Fire Department, 213 Sierra College Drive in Grass Valley.

The money is coming from the Fireman's Fund Insurance Company. Networked Insurance Agents helped direct the grants to the Fire Department, according to a press release.

The Fire Department will use the money to buy software that stores pre-fire plans in mobile computers. The plans provide information such as building layout, construction type, utility shut-offs and hazardous materials that may be inside.

The grant will also be used to buy 2,200 feet of segmented 5-inch fire hose, replacing segments of hose that are 15 to 21 years old.

This is the third grant that the Fire Department has received from Fireman's Fund through Networked Insurance in recent years.

A $26,000 grant in May 2007 was used for special operations equipment, while $10,000 donated in June 2008 was used to buy nearly two dozen fire nozzles.

Since 2004, Fireman's Fund has provided grants to more than 1,100 fire departments totaling more than $21 million. The money is used for needed equipment, training and education tools.

Independent insurance agencies selling Fireman's Fund products direct the grants to support fire stations in their communities.

From Sandy Louey:

The Yuba County Sheriff's Department has identified the Linda woman who died in a kitchen fire Saturday night.

Diane Elizabeth Daniels, 46, died at her home on Nichols Lane. Neighbors helped to extinguish the fire, according to a press release from the Sheriff's Department.

An autopsy on Daniels was inconclusive and further tests are being conducted, the release said.

By Sandy Louey

The Yuba County Sheriff's Department is investigating the death of a Linda woman who was found on fire in her kitchen and died there.

Authorities were called out just before 8 p.m. Saturday about the incident. The woman was in her 40s, said Melanie Oakes, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's department.

An autopsy is scheduled for Monday. The victim's name is not being released until the autopsy confirms her identity and her family is notified, she said.

Oakes said neighbors tried to put out the fire.

From Sandy Louey:

Two Sacramento City Unified School District employees were injured Tuesday morning from an arcing transformer at Kit Carson Middle School.

The incident was at 10:50 a.m. at the school, which is at 5301 N Street. The two painters were in a mechanical room and one of them dropped a spray paint can into the transformer, said Capt. Jim Doucette, spokesman for the Sacramento Fire Department.

One painter was taken to a hospital to be treated for minor first-degree burns. The other painter declined treatment at the scene, Doucette said.

Doucette said students were not nearby when the accident took place.

District Police Sgt. Vince Matranga said the electricity was quickly restored after a short period of time.

From Andy Furillo:

The biological parents of a 4-year-old girl killed in a house fire apparently set by a Molotov cocktail last year have filed a lawsuit in Sacramento Superior Court against the county's Child Protective Services agency.

Curtis Crenshaw and Anisha Hill's lawsuit charges CPS with failing to properly monitor the foster care residence of their daughter, Amariana Crenshaw.

The girl died on Jan. 11, 2008, in the fire in the 3400 block of Sweat Pea Way in North Natomas.

CPS officials were not immediately available to respond to the suit that was filed Wednesday.

The suit also names as a defendant the foster parent, Tracy Dossman, who also could not be reached early this afternoon.

No arrests have been made in the girl's death, Sacramento police spokesman Sgt. Norm Leong said today.

From Sandy Louey:

A fire Monday afternoon caused $125,000 in damages to an Elk Grove home.

The single-alarm fire began about 11:30 a.m. at a home in the 8600 block of Zircon Crest Court, a fire dispatcher said.

The fire began in the garage. The cause of the blaze is under investigation, said Steve Capps, spokesman for the Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department.

There were no injuries, Capps said.

From Sandy Louey:

Authorities arrested a 21-year-old man Tuesday for allegedly trying to set fire to a Sacramento home after the residents asked him to leave.

Arson investigators with the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District arrested Cole Alan Nelson on suspicion of arson of an inhabited structure or property, possession of a firebomb and possession of a destructive device with intent to terrify, according to a news release.

Nelson was being held at the Sacramento County Main Jail Tuesday on $400,000 bail. He is scheduled to be in court Thursday, according to online jail records.

Sacramento Metro firefighters responded at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday to an extinguished fire at a home in the 2700 block of Adriatic Way.

Nelson had been a guest in the home Monday night where he visited with three residents and an additional guest.

He had been asked to leave, but refused to do so. When the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department was called at 10:35 p.m., Nelson fled. Deputies looked for him without success, the release said.

Just before 12:09 a.m. Tuesday, the three residents and the guest heard knocking at the front door. When they got there, they saw flames coming from the exterior entryway, Sacramento Metro officials said.

The four fled through a back patio door. While one of them called 911, the other three went to the front of the home, where they confronted Nelson.

Fire officials said the residents wrestled Nelson to the ground and held him until deputies arrived. A resident used a garden hose to extinguish the fire at the front door and threshold.

Deputies said they found a gasoline can and wicking material in Nelson's backpack. They also recovered two disposable lighters.

Arson investigators found items consistent with a Molotov cocktail in the exterior entryway to the home. Wicking material matched that found in Nelson's backpack, officials said.

There was no estimate available on damage to the property.

burning_boat.JPGPhoto courtesy Wayne Carlisle

From Sandy Louey:

The West Sacramento Fire Department is investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed a boat Saturday night on the Sacramento River.

Firefighters received a call at 7:42 p.m. about a blaze at the Sherwood Harbor Marina and RV Park on South River Road.

A 28-foot boat moored to the dock was fully engulfed. The boat was a total loss. No one was on board and there were no injuries, said West Sacramento Battalion Chief John Bodolay.

"It was engulfed in flames," said Wayne Carlisle, who lives on a 33-foot boat next to the destroyed one.

Awakened by friends screaming his name, he cut the line so he could drift away from the blaze. The heat from the fire cracked and blistered his boat, Carlisle said.

Bodolay said the U.S. Coast Guard assisted by pulling a boat away from the fire.

From Sandy Louey:

The Placer County Coroner's Office has identified the couple killed in last week's fatal house fire in Loomis.

The two were Frank Konrad, 83, and Anne Konrad, 73, said Dena Erwin, spokeswoman for the Placer County Sheriff's Department.

The Konrads, who had been married since 1954, were killed a Jan. 8 fire that destroyed their home at 7750 King Road. They had lived in their home since moving from El Dorado County in 1978.

From: Sandy Louey

The Lincoln fire department is investigating a Saturday night fire that destroyed six townhomes under construction, causing $1.2 million in damages.

Lincoln Fire Chief David Whitt said firefighters were called out at 11:20 p.m. to the blaze at the D.R. Horton development at Joiner Parkway and Las Palomas Loop.

The townhomes, which were two and three-stories high, were attached units. No one was injured. Two nearby homes under construction suffered minor smoke and fire damage, Whitt said.

Firefighters from Cal Fire, Rocklin, Roseville, Loomis, Newcastle, and Penryn assisted in battling the blaze, which took an hour to knock down. Firefighters remained on the scene until 4 a.m. Sunday, Whitt said.

Whitt said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

From Stan Oklobdzija:

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District firefighters are putting down a fire on the American River Parkway near Larchmont Community Park, fire officials said.

The call came in at about 4 p.m., fire officials said. One engine has been dispatched to deal with it, officials said.

From Sandy Louey:

The Woodland Police Department is investigating a fire at a storage lot Tuesday night.

At 10:47 p.m., Woodland police and the Woodland Fire Department were called out to the lot in the 700 block of Kentucky Avenue. Four travel trailers and a small fishing boat were on fire, according to a press release.

The blaze was extinguished and no one was injured.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police at (530) 666-2411 or (530) 661-7800. Callers can remain anonymous.

From Sandy Louey:

Officials from the Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department are investigating a suspicious fire that damaged a playground structure at an Elk Grove park.

Maintenance workers from the district discovered the damage Tuesday morning at Womack Park, 9340 Castleview Drive, district spokesman Steve Capps said.

No damage estimate is available yet, but a mini-slide was destroyed and a swinging bridge was severely damaged.

The playground has been fenced off, he said.



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