Archive for the ‘Fire’ Category

Fire Prevention Week: Two minutes may be all you have to escape a home fire — the nation’s most frequent disaster

Saturday, October 8th, 2022

Dos minutos puede ser todo lo que tiene para escapar un incendio doméstico, el desastre más frecuente del país

During Oct. 9-15, practice your escape plan and test your smoke alarms; residents in need can contact the Red Cross to request a free smoke alarm installation

This National Fire Prevention Week, October 9-15, the American Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region urges everyone to practice their two-minute home fire escape plan and test their smoke alarms to stay safe from the nation’s most frequent disaster.

Two minutes is the amount of time that fire experts say you may have to safely escape a home fire before it’s too late. These crises account for most of the 60,000-plus disasters that the Red Cross responds to each year across the U.S. — locally in the Northern California Coastal Region, home fire responses are 18% higher during cold months than warmer times of year.

“As the threat of home fires increases with colder temperatures, Fire Prevention Week serves as an important reminder to prepare now,” said Ana Romero, Regional Preparedness Manager. “Practice your two-minute home fire escape drill and test your smoke alarms monthly to help keep your family safe.”

HOW TO PRACTICE YOUR TWO-MINUTE DRILL

Practice your plan with everyone in your household; also teach children what a smoke alarm sounds like and what to do in an emergency. Visit redcross.org/fire for more information, including a printable escape plan and safety tips for cooking and home heating — the leading causes of home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association, which is sponsoring Fire Prevention Week with the theme, “Fire Won’t Wait. Plan Your Escape.”

  • Include at least two ways to exit every room in your home in your escape plan.
  • Select a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home, such as your neighbor’s home or landmark like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone knows to meet.
  • Place smoke alarms on each level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas. Test alarms monthly and change the batteries at least once a year, if your model requires it.
  • Check the manufacturer’s date of your smoke alarms. If they’re 10 years or older, they likely need to be replaced because components such batteries can become less reliable. Follow your alarm’s manufacturer instructions.
  • Tailor your escape plan to everyone’s needs in your household. If you or a loved one is deaf or hard of hearing, install strobe light and bed-shaker alarms to help alert you to a fire.

IF YOU NEED HELP

If you cannot afford to purchase smoke alarms or are physically unable to install one, the Red Cross may be able to help. Visit us at SoundTheAlarm.org/NorCalCoastal to request an appointment.

Red Cross volunteers and partners perform smoke alarm installations and home fire safety visits wherever possible to ensure our communities are safe.

Here is the full circle story of Burnie Gipson, who lives in Martinez, California. His previous home in San Francisco suffered a fire and the Red Cross Disaster Action Team volunteers responded to provide help and care to him and other displaced residents. After moving to Martinez, Burnie reached back out to the Red Cross to set up a free smoke alarm installation in his new home.

HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN SAVE LIVES

Since October 2014, the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign with community partners has saved at least 1,393 lives — including 24 here in the Northern California Coastal Region— by educating families about fire safety, helping them create escape plans and installing free smoke alarms in high-risk areas across the country. Locally, Red Cross volunteers and partners have installed 42,309 alarms and helped make 15,807 households safer. To learn more about the campaign and how you can get involved, visit redcross.org/homefires.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Durante la Semana de la Prevención de Incendios, practique su plan de escape y pruebe sus detectores de humo; los residentes que lo necesiten pueden ponerse en contacto con la Cruz Roja para solicitar una instalación gratuita de alarma de humo

Esta Semana de la Prevención de Incendios (del 9 al 15 de octubre), la Cruz Roja Americana Región de la Costa Norte de California insta a todos a practicar su plan de dos minutos de evacuación de incendios en el hogar y probar sus alarmas de humo para mantenerse a salvo del desastre más frecuente del país.

Dos minutos es la cantidad de tiempo que los expertos en incendios dicen que puede tener para escapar de forma segura de un incendio doméstico antes de que sea demasiado tarde. Estas crisis representan la mayoría de los más de 60,000 desastres a los que la Cruz Roja responde cada año en todo Estados Unidos. Localmente, las respuestas a los incendios domésticos son un 18% más altas durante los meses de frío que las épocas más cálidas del año.

“A medida que la amenaza de incendios domésticos aumenta con las temperaturas más frías, la Semana de la Prevención de Incendios sirve como un recordatorio importante para prepararse ahora”, dijo Ana Romero, Gerente Regional de Preparación. “Practique su simulacro de escape en caso de incendio en el hogar de dos minutos y pruebe sus alarmas de humo mensualmente para ayudar a mantener a su familia segura”.

CÓMO PRACTICAR SU SIMULACRO DE DOS MINUTOS

Practique su plan con todos en su hogar; también enseñe a los niños cómo suena una alarma de humo y qué hacer en una emergencia. Visite CruzRojaAmericana.org/incendios para obtener más información, incluyendo un plan de escape imprimible y consejos de seguridad para cocinar y calentar el hogar, las principales causas de los incendios domésticos, según la Asociación Nacional de Protección contra Incendios, que patrocina la Semana de la Prevención de Incendios con el tema, “El fuego no espera. Planifica tu escape”.

  • Incluya al menos dos formas de salir de cada habitación de su casa en su plan de escape.
  • Seleccione un lugar de reunión a una distancia segura de su casa, como la casa de su vecino o un punto de referencia, como un árbol específico en su patio delantero, donde todos sepan reunirse.
  • Coloque detectores de humo en cada nivel de su casa, incluidos los dormitorios y las zonas de descanso interiores y exteriores. Pruebe las alarmas mensualmente y cambie las baterías al menos una vez al año, si su modelo lo requiere.
  • Compruebe la fecha del fabricante de sus detectores de humo. Si tienen 10 años o más, es probable que deban reemplazarse porque componentes como las baterías pueden ser menos confiables. Siga las instrucciones del fabricante de la alarma.
  • Adapte su plan de escape a las necesidades de todos en su hogar. Si usted o un ser querido es sordo o tiene problemas de audición, instale alarmas de luz estroboscópica y para agitar la cama para ayudar a alertarle de un incendio.

SI NECESITA AYUDA

Si no puede darse el lujo de comprar detectores de humo o no puede instalar uno físicamente, la Cruz Roja puede ayudar. Visite nuestro sitio web ActivaTuAlarma.org para solicitar un turno. Los voluntarios de la Cruz Roja junto con socios locales realizan visitas para instalación de alarmas de humo gratuitas y prevención de incendios en el hogar cada vez que resulta posible.

Esta es la historia de circulo completo de Burnie Gipson, residente de Martinez, California. Su anterior hogar en San Francisco sufrió un incendio y los voluntarios del Equipo de Acción en Desastres de la Cruz Roja asistieron

para ayudar y proveer cuidados a el y a otros residentes desplazados por el fuego. Luego de mudarse a martines, Burnie contacto a la Cruz Roja para instalar una alarma de incendios en su nuevo hogar.

LA CAMPAÑA DE PREVENCIÓN DE INCENDIOS EN EL HOGAR SALVA VIDAS

Desde octubre de 2014, la Campaña de La Cruz Roja contra incendios en el hogar con socios comunitarios ha salvado al menos 1.393 vidas -incluyendo 24 en la Región de la Costa Norte de California- al educar a las familias sobre la seguridad contra incendios, ayudarles a crear planes de escape e instalar alarmas de humo gratuitas en zonas de alto riesgo en todo el país. Localmente, los voluntarios y socios de la Cruz Roja han instalado 42.309 alarmas y han ayudado a hacer 15.807 hogares más seguros. Para saber más sobre la campaña y cómo puede participar, visite CruzRojaAmericana.org/IncendiosDomesticos.

Sobre la Cruz Roja Americana:

La Cruz Roja Americana alberga, alimenta y ofrece Alivio a víctimas de desastres; suministra aproximadamente el 40% de la sangre que necesita el país; enseña habilidades que salvan vidas; distribuye asistencia humanitaria internacional; y brinda apoyo a veteranos, miembros de las fuerzas armadas y sus familias. La Cruz Roja Americana es una organización sin fines de lucro que depende de los voluntarios y de la generosidad del pueblo estadounidense para entregar su misión. Para más información, visite redcross.org o CruzRojaAmericana.org, o visítenos en Twitter en @RedCross.

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Antioch man who died with three dogs in Monday night fire identified

Friday, July 29th, 2022

After extinguishing the flames, a fire crew cleans up following a house fire Serpentine Drive in Antioch that claimed the lives of one man and three dogs Monday night, July 25, 2022. Photos by Allen D. Payton.

Started in garage, ConFire responds in minutes

By Allen D. Payton

The man who died in a residential fire on Serpentine Drive in Antioch Monday night, July 25 in Antioch has been identified by the Contra Costa Coroner’s office as 61-year-old Frank Koukis. According to the victim’s brother, three dogs also perished in the fire.

ConFire Public Information Officer Steve Hill said, “we have determined the origin of the fire was in the garage which is where the victim was found.”

“The fire is not suspicious in nature,” he continued. “We have not been able to rule out that carelessly discarded smoking materials were the possible cause. But the investigation continues.”

“The first call came in at 8:04 p.m. from a neighbor who reported two people and three dogs lived there,” Hill explained. “Our battalion chief was on the scene by 8:06 and the first of three engines arrived at 8:09 p.m., and the other two were there within two minutes. The fire was knocked down five minutes after we were on scene.

“A total of five engines, breathing support, two ambulances and two battalion chiefs responded to the scene,” he shared. “Antioch Police and Contra Costa Sheriff’s Deputies also responded.”

A post on the ConFire Twitter feed at 8:59 pm read, “ConFire is working a fatal structure fire on Serpentine Drive in Antioch. Fire is under control. Unfortunately, one victim was located by crews. Investigators on scene.”

As of 10:20 pm, a fire crew was continuing the cleanup after extinguishing the flames.

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After Con Fire ends flooding Marsh peat fire in Pittsburg with 200 million gallons of water “no apparent…smoke remains”

Saturday, July 23rd, 2022

Con Fire ends flooding the Marsh peat fire in Pittsburg on Saturday, July 23, 2022. Photos: Con Fire

“Nearly 20,000 gallons per minute”

By Allen D. Payton

After burning and filling the air over Antioch and Pittsburg with smoke for almost two months the Marsh peat fire in Pittsburg appears to be extinguished. (See related article)

In a post on their Facebook page on Saturday, July 23, the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire) reported that they have “ended flooding today that has, for 7 days, with help from CC Water Dist. & the property owner, put some 200 M gallons of water on the Marsh peat fire in Pittsburg. No apparent hotspots or smoke remain, though we continue to monitor for flareups.”

On Friday, they reported that the “Marsh peat fire flooding is proving extremely effective with only small areas continuing to put off some limited smoke today. Flooding continues at nearly 20,000 gallons per minute. Con Fire is hopeful of complete extinguishment in coming days.”

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Pittsburg Marsh Fire contained, no threat to structures but still producing significant smoke

Tuesday, July 12th, 2022

Pittsburg Marsh Fire on Friday, July 8, 2022. Photo: PG&E

Stubborn six-week-old peat fire in largely inaccessible areas of Bay Point and Pittsburg

By Steve Hill, PIO, Contra Costa Fire Protection District

Aerial view of Marsh Fire on Monday, July 11, 2022, of peat burning for six-plus weeks along Bay Point and Pittsburg shorelines. Photo courtesy PG&E

July 12, 2022 – Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire) today announced details regarding a peat fire that has been burning since May 28 in the waterfront areas of Bay Point and Pittsburg.

  • The original fire began the early afternoon of May 28 in a homeless encampment near Suisun and Solano Avenues in Bay Point that burned to approximately 200 acres. The homeless encampment was completely consumed by the fire. No injuries were reported.
  • The May 28 fire occurred in a largely inaccessible area with no structures or inhabitants and created a lingering and stubborn fire that has burned in the marsh since that date. The fire burned into large amounts of peat in the area throughout the ensuing six weeks, consuming additional vegetation and intermittently producing noticeable smoke, depending on weather conditions, but still threatening no structures or lives.
  • On Saturday, July 9, driven by wind, the peat fire flared up extending into adjacent grassy areas of Pittsburg, threatening overhead high-voltage PG&E transmission lines and nearby decommissioned industrial sites.
  • In spite of high winds at the scene, an overwhelming response from Con Fire, aided by Cal Fire, resulted in the fire being contained before it could extend into neighboring homes.
  • Con Fire requested mutual aid from Cal Fire for water-dropping helicopters. Due to the threat to PG&E infrastructure, this request was granted.
  • Before it was contained, the fire consumed an additional 74 acres, bringing the total area consumed by the fires to approximately 500 acres. As of July 11, the Marsh Fire is contained and continues to smolder in inaccessible areas of the Bay Point and Pittsburg waterfront.
  • Peat fires are notoriously stubborn, can be virtually impossible to extinguish, and are often left, for lack of alternatives, to burn themselves out.
  • Today, the remaining peat fire is producing significant smoke but presenting little fire danger to the surrounding area. It is NOT threatening structures; no evacuations are anticipated, as a result. The Fire has consumed most of the fuel adjacent to the community, increasing the margin of safety that would otherwise present a fire risk.
  • The property owner has been cooperative, hiring contractors to mow and disk hundreds of acres to eliminate hazardous fuels.
  • PG&E also provided resources to support the operation in the form of infrastructure protection teams and a large water-dropping helicopter.
  • We share resident concerns regarding the smoke and are aggressively pursuing additional remedies for the situation with city and county officials, other jurisdictions, the property owner, and multiple regulatory agencies, in an attempt to mitigate the situation as soon as possible.
  • Con Fire continues to monitor the fire scene and is prepared to immediately address any flare ups that may occur.
  • We have coordinated with Contra Costa Health Services to monitor air quality in the fire area and, as a result, CCHS issued a health advisory late on July 11.
  • For information on protecting yourself and your family from smoke, please visit cchealth.org/wildfire-smoke.

Infrared view of hot spots (in white) burning in peat under visible grass fire in Bay Point and Pittsburg on Sunday, July 10, 2022. Photo courtesy Cal OES

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Con Fire responds to 30 fires across the District Monday evening July 4 – nine known to be, majority suspected from fireworks

Tuesday, July 5th, 2022

Firefighters extinguish fireworks on Monday night, July 4, 2022. Photos ConFire

Con Fire responded to some 30 fires across the District Monday evening, July 4. Of these, 9 are known fireworks caused with the vast majority of others suspected. Since the start of the holiday weekend Friday p.m., Con Fire responded to 70 fires, many caused by fireworks. #cccsafe4th

In the 10 p.m. hour, Con Fire firefighters responded to 11 grass and exterior fires involving palm trees, fences, yards & parks. Two of these known fireworks caused, remainder likely. At about 11:30 p.m. crews were on-scene at 7 separate fires across the District. #cccsafe4th

Confiscated illegal fireworks.

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East Contra Costa Fire to transfer command to Contra Costa Fire District during ceremony Friday morning

Thursday, June 30th, 2022

 

About East Contra Costa County Fire Protection District – The East Contra Costa Fire Protection District (ECCFPD) is a rural-funded fire district that currently operates 3 fire stations and has a 3-station deficit. The District protects a population of more than 128,000 across its 249 square-mile service area. ECCFPD provides firefighting personnel, emergency medical services (basic life support) and fire prevention to the residents and businesses of the cities of Brentwood and Oakley, and unincorporated communities of Discovery Bay, Bethel Island, Knightsen, Byron, Marsh Creek, and Morgan Territory.

About Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire) — A recognized fire service leader – Con Fire provides fire and emergency medical services to some 625,000 residents in nine cities and five unincorporated areas across our 304 square-mile jurisdiction. With few exceptions, county emergency ambulance transport services are provided by Con Fire through our unique sub-contractor Alliance model across the District and beyond to include some 520 square miles of the County. In 2021, the District responded to more than 141,000 incidents of all types, including some 55,000 fire and EMS emergencies, and dispatched nearly 100,000 ambulances, providing expert medical care on more than 75,000 ambulance transports. The District, with 26 fire stations and more than 400 employees, is dedicated to preserving life, property, and the environment.

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Con Fire graduates Fire Academy 57, adds 27 lateral firefighters to ranks

Tuesday, May 24th, 2022

Lateral Fire Academy 57 graduates. Source: Con Fire

New firefighters to be assigned to stations across District, supporting staffing for challenging fire weather

By Steve Hill, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District

CONCORD, CA – Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire) announced Tuesday the graduation of its Lateral Fire Academy 57 and the addition of 27 new experienced firefighters to the District’s ranks.

Academy 57 consisted exclusively of experienced firefighters from other agencies across the state and region who chose to join Con Fire to continue their careers. The abbreviated eight-week course of instruction was designed to align students’ past training with Con Fire’s organization and procedures.

Beginning this week, the new firefighter graduates of Academy 57 will join crews across the District, bolstering ranks that have been challenged by the early arrival of dangerous fire weather.

Chief Lewis Broschard speaks during the Academy 57 graduation ceremony on Monday, May 23, 2022. Source: Con Fire

Speaking at Monday evening’s graduation ceremony, Fire Chief Lewis Broschard said, “Each of these 27 experienced firefighters chose to uproot their careers and families to make a life choice to continue their careers with Con Fire. We appreciate and value their decisions.”

Broschard added, “We took great care to select the very best people possible for this academy, from many qualified applications. I am confident we chose right. Congratulations on completing Academy 57 and thank you for making the decision to serve with Con Fire.”

The graduating firefighters underwent a physically and mentally challenging eight-week course of instruction using the latest firefighting and training techniques. In addition to structure firefighting techniques, these firefighters enhanced their knowledge and skills in wildland firefighting, rescue, automobile extrication, hazardous materials response, emergency medical services, and other techniques they can be expected to put to use in their first assignments as probationary firefighters. The training was designed to develop each trainee’s ability to function under stress and perform as a member of a disciplined firefighting crew.

The graduation ceremony was held at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts on May 23, before an audience of several hundred family members, friends, local officials and public well-wishers. Each graduate was “pinned” with their firefighter badge and sworn in as a Con Fire firefighter.

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Two transient men arrested by Con Fire for arson in Antioch, Bay Point

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

Scene of the fire set by an arson in Bay Point on Tuesday, March 22, 2022. Photo: ConFire

Quick investigative work results in two arrests within 48 hours

By Steve Hill, PIO, Con Fire

CONCORD, CALIF., Mar. 23, 2022 – Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire) today announced its fire investigators made arrests in the last 48 hours in two separate, intentionally set fires in Antioch and Bay Point.

On March 21, a Con Fire investigator responded to an exterior fire burning in brush along the soundwall near Larkspur Drive and Hillcrest Avenue in Antioch. Nearby, Jason McGee, 27, a transient living in Antioch, who had been seen in the area of the fire, was identified as a suspect.

During questioning, McGee admitted to lighting this fire and a witness in the area further identified the suspect as having been seen lighting another fire the previous Friday. McGee was subsequently arrested for both fires and transported to the Martinez Detention Facility for booking on two charges of Arson of a Structure or Forest Land (PC § 451(c)).

On March 22, Con Fire investigators arrested Emanuel Serrano, 25, a transient, in the vicinity of two vegetation fires burning along Highway Four near Evora and Willow Pass Roads in Bay Point. The two separate fires originated along the walking trail next to westbound Highway 4.

As crews were arriving, a witness pointed out a subject who they had observed starting the fires. Investigators checked the area and observed Serrano running through a nearby field. Searching the area on foot and from above with an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), investigators located the suspect hiding in tall vegetation on a nearby hill where he was taken into custody.

Witnesses positively identified Serrano as the individual seen starting the fires. Investigators conducted an “origin and cause” investigation, which did not reveal ignition sources other than human activity in the area of the fires. Serrano was transported to and booked into the Martinez Detention Facility, charged with two counts of Arson of a Structure or Forest Land (PC § 451(c)).

Con Fire’s Fire Investigation Unit asks residents to help them fight the crime of arson by calling the Arson Tip Line at 1-866-50-ARSON. They caution residents not to hesitate on information that seems too little or unimportant, adding some of the most valuable tips come from residents who were not aware what they saw was very important to the investigation of an incident. Residents can leave a recorded message on the tip line about fire-related criminal activity in English or Spanish. Tips can be anonymous, and all tips are treated confidentially. But investigators sometimes need additional information, so contact information is encouraged.

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