Archive for the ‘Fire’ Category

County’s Community Warning System functioned properly during Richmond fire Tuesday night

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

A fire burns at Sims Metal Management in Richmond, CA Tuesday night, Jan. 30, 2017. Screenshot of video by ABC7 News.

By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff

The mission of the Community Warning System (CWS) is to ensure the public gets emergency alerts as quickly and completely as possible once we receive the proper information from the requesting agency. CWS is not an internal notification system for a city or affected jurisdictions.

In regards to yesterday’s fire at Sims Metal Management shop located at 604 S. 4th Street in Richmond, CWS received all of the necessary information from Richmond Fire for an alert at 5:55 PM. There was no request to activate the sirens. The first alert was sent at 6:08 PM through the Telephone Emergency Notification Sys-tem (TENS), which includes phone, text, and email alerts. It is also posted on social media and websites.

As the fire continued to burn and produce smoke, and due to a shift in winds, the shelter-in-place needed to be expanded. CWS worked to get updates to additional shelter-in-place areas as they were requested by Richmond Fire and Contra Costa Hazardous Materials Program.

The second alert went out at 6:44 PM, the third alert went out at 7:57 PM, and the last one went out at 8:50 PM. These alerts went to expanded areas at the request of Richmond Fire and the Contra Costa Hazardous Materials Program.

After the situation became somewhat stabilized and it was believed no additional shelter-in-place areas would be needed, a comprehensive map was created that included all affected are-as and was posted in on our website and Facebook page and sent directly to the media.

“In yesterday’s incident, the CWS worked as designed — alerts were sent once all the information was received from the requesting agency,” said Assistant Sheriff Mark Williams. “Mayor Butt’s statement that it took an hour to get out the first alert after receiving the necessary information from Richmond Fire is totally inaccurate, misleading, and presumptuous.”

CWS continually reviews it system and procedures in an effort to improve delivery of alerts. CWS encourages all county residents to receive alerts by registering at http://www.cococws.us and to follow CWS on Twitter and Facebook at CoCoCWS.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Supervisors increase fees by 150% for non-franchised solid waste haulers

Friday, January 26th, 2018

Approve purchase of five new fire trucks for Con-Fire

By Daniel Borsuk

Without a whimper of a protest from a non-franchised solid waste hauler, Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to make it costly to operate a business in the county.

At the request of District 1 Supervisor John Gioia, supervisors agreed to raise the performance bond to $50,000 from $20,000 even though at one point the supervisor from Richmond attempted to press on the need to lift up the performance bond as much as $100,000.

In addition to paying for the annual performance bond, anyone conducting business as a non-franchise waste hauler in the county would have to pay $229 for an annual permit per vehicle and meet other rules the Contra Costa County Health Services Department has developed.

Independent trash hauling operators would also be subject to annual inspections and would have to adhere to other rules county supervisors established in an ordinance passed last November.

The non-franchised waste haulers ordinance is set to go be enforced in March.  County officials are uncertain how many non-franchise trash haulers there are in the county because they work undercover in warehouses and illegally dump loads usually under the cloak of darkness and in out-of-the-way unincorporated parts of the county.

“I’ve been working on this issue in North Richmond for 20 years, and if they (i.e. homeowners) can hire someone to haul their trash for $20 versus $70 they’ll do it for $20,” said Gioia.  “The question is whether we are setting the bar too low.”

The supervisor contends his District 1 in West county and District 5 in East County represented by supervisor Federal Glover tend to be hit the hardest by non-franchised solid waste haulers who illegally dump trash in unincorporated areas thereby forcing the county to spend thousands of dollars to clean up sites.

“If you make it too expensive, “warned Supervisor Candace Andersen, whose District 2 gets perhaps the least amount of trash illegally dumped by non-franchised haulers, “there will be more of a need for haulers to resort to the black market.”

District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis, who has observed hundreds of paint cans litter Marsh Creek Road, commented, “These people can do a lot of damage with one load.  Twenty thousand dollars for a performance bond is nothing.  I’d like to set it higher. “

At the suggestion of Board Chair and District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, Gioia and other supervisors agreed the $50,000 performance bond would be a good start to assess independent trash haulers not affiliated with either of the two major trash haulers, Republic Services and Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery.  Both companies played key roles in compelling the supervisors to approve the ordinance last year.

District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg said the problem of trash dumped by non-franchised haulers on vacant lots is a countywide problem, not mainly an East and West county issue.  While he supports raising the performance bond to $50,000, he said the board of supervisors needs to be proactive and needs to monitor how the non-franchised trash haulers respond to the new ordinance.

Board chairperson Mitchoff requested that Marilyn Underwood of the Contra Costa Health Services Department, the department enforcing the ordinance, to give the board a progress report in March once the ordinance becomes enforced.

Fire District to Acquire 5 New Trucks

The Contra Costa Fire Protection District will add sorely needed new fire equipment with the supervisors 5-0 consent action approval to buy five new fire engines from Golden State Fire Apparatus Inc. at a price tag not to exceed $4.6 million.  The new vehicles will be delivered to the CCFPD in January 2019.

Supervisors voted to acquire four Type I fire engines and one 100-foot aerial ladder truck from Golden State Fire Apparatus to help alleviate an aging fleet of 35 Type I engines with an average age of 9.3 years per vehicle.  All engines that are more than 10 years old, Fire Chief Jeff Carman reported, have more than 100,000 miles.  Four Type I engines targeted for replacement each have more than 125,000 miles.  One engine sustained a catastrophic motor failure while responding to a state mutual aid response in Southern California this fall.

The new aerial apparatus truck will be the fire district’s 10th ladder truck.

The county has arranged a 10-year lease agreement through PNC Equipment Financial LLC worth an amount not to exceed $4.6 million with annual payments of $460,000 at an annual interest rate of 3.5 percent.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Transient suspected in Antioch arsons arrested, charged Wednesday with five counts

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

The damage to the interior of the building that housed Paula’s Family Florist on A Street in Antioch. Herald file photo

Contra Costa County Fire Investigators have made an arson arrest in Antioch for several recent fires.

37-year-old José Luis Gomes, a transient living in Antioch, was arrested on December 22, 2017, and was charged yesterday, December 27, 2017, with one count of attempted arson, and four counts of arson to a structure. He is suspected of starting a fire at Paula’s Family Florist shop, and three churches, all in a small geographic area around the A Street corridor.

Other similar fires in the area are still under investigation.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Arson investigation follows multiple fires in Antioch Thursday night

Friday, December 22nd, 2017

A fire possibly started by an arson that burned the building at 1205 A Street was one of six fires in Antioch north of Highway 4, Thursday night, Dec. 21. Photo by ConFire.

By Allen Payton

A series of six fires on the north side of Antioch Thursday night are believed to be the acts of an arsonist, according to Antioch Police.

The public was alerted to the fires late Thursday night by the Public Information Officer for the Contra Costa Fire Protection District George Laing

Posted at 10:53 p.m. on the ConFire PIO Twitter account was the message, “Series of fire in #Antioch , 5 building on Madill st and 1 on A street. All fires now under control. All structures abandoned.”

Then at 11:00 p.m. Laing posted “#Antioch fires- A street (with photo)” and “All #Antioch fires under control.”

The photo provided shows the building at 1205 A Street on fire.

Asked if an arson investigation had begun, Antioch Police Corporal Shawn Morin said, “the arson investigators responded and took over the investigations. It will be arson investigations with the Contra Costa Fire Department that will be handling everything. We don’t have anything to do with it at this point. We don’t have any leads, we don’t have any type of information of who or what or how these things were started at all.”

A call to ConFire PIO Laing was not returned prior to publication.

Please check back later for details.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Building of third generation Antioch florist business destroyed by fire, early Monday morning

Monday, December 18th, 2017

Owner Paula Franchetto-Trotta, husband Chris Trotta, her parents Bob and Mary Franchetto, and Fr. Roberto of Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church across the street assess the damage to the business Monday morning, Dec. 18.

The damage to the interior of the building.

By Allen Payton

The building that houses Paula’s Family Florist, located at 1412 A Street in Antioch, was destroyed by fire at about 4:30 a.m. Monday morning. Owner Paula Franchetto-Trotta, husband Chris Trotta, her parents Bob and Mary Franchetto, and Fr. Roberto of Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church were on hand at about 9:30 a.m. to assess the damage to the business.

It’s believed the cause was some homeless people starting a fire in the dumpster, Paula said. It’s a total loss, Chris said.

The business has been in the family for three generations and at the A Street location for over 50 years, Bob said, starting with his father. Cottage Florist is the former name before Bob and Mary sold the business to Paula.

Fortunately, Bob was late getting there, Mary said. He’s usually in by 4:00 a.m. and they believe the fire started about 4:30 when neighbors called the fire department. Bob said firefighters told him they had a hard time getting through the roof.

“I built the roof,” Bob added.

The family said they will move into and operate temporarily from the storage unit on the back lot of the property until all the insurance company can pay to rebuild. (See more photos on the Herald Facebook page)

The front of the building with fire retardant foam following the extinguishing of the fire Monday morning.

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

The Church@Antioch offers opportunity to assist victims of North Bay fires Friday until 8 p.m.

Friday, October 13th, 2017

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Contra Costa Fire District open house Saturday, Oct. 14

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Car fire on Highway 4 jumps to hillside burning 30 acres in Antioch, Sunday evening

Monday, July 17th, 2017

Car on fire on the side of eastbound Highway 4 near Highway 160 offramp, Sunday, July 16, 2017. Photos by Allen Payton

By Allen Payton

A car caught fire on the side of eastbound Highway 4 just west of the Highway 160 onramp and interchange, Sunday, July 16, 2017 at approximately 6:00 p.m. The fire then jumped to the grass on the adjacent hillside and quickly spread up the hill. Fire crews were able to bring the fire under control, but not until it had consumed approximately 30 acres.

The fire jumped to the adjacent hillside.

Emergency crews arrived and began fighting the fire.

As crews battled the fire, it continued to quickly spread up the hill.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter