April 22, 2009

Fire contained in Walnut Creek apartment building; poodle puppy rescued

Kind of an update 6 p.m. Thursday I say "kind of," because this isn't from any fire or police source. Okay, today I was once again listening to Len Tillem, the KGOAM810 radio personality and lawyer who has a noontime Monday-Friday show. A guy called in and said he lived in an apartment complex that caught on fire "yesterday." He didn't name the town but we all knew which fire in which town he was talking about.

First of all, the caller said that the fire started because a resident was boiling something on her stove. She left the stove to take a phone call ... Fire breaks out. This caller needed Tillem's advice because he says no smoke detectors or fire alarms went off. (This is something a reader had told me.) The caller had suffered smoke damage to the property in his apartment. He wanted to know if he had a case to sue the building owner for having inoperable smoke detectors.

Tillem said he didn't think so, unless he could prove a direction connection between no smoke detectors and the fire and smoke causing damage to his property. Tillem thought the caller might be able to sue the apartment resident whose possible negligence caused the fire. Tillem asked if the caller had renter's insurance, and said it's a good idea for renters to purchase it.

Update 8:45 p.m. Walnut Creek police say that the fire, which was "accidental," damaged one unit in the apartment building in in the 1400 block of Creekside Drive, while smoke damage left four other units uninhabitable.

Lt. Mark Perlite says the property managers and the American Red Cross responded to assist those occupants who were displaced. "The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental in nature," Perlite says. "One firefighter sustained unspecified back injuries during the fire and was taken to a local hospital." No one else was injured.

Thanks Lt. Perlite for this update.

Meanwhile, one of our Crazy in Suburbia readers points out that Creekside Drive is heavily populated, with about 2,500 residents, including kids. Not only does it back up against Las Lomas High School, the Creekside Drive neighborhood is across South Broadway from Murwood School. Our reader also pointed out that the Creekside Drive neighborhood sits across South Broadway from the disastrous 2004 pipeline explosion that killed five men and injured four others.

The Contra Costa Times says that firefighters put out a two-alarm fire that broke out in a first-floor unit of a four-story apartment complex on Creekside Drive Wednesday afternoon.

The fire was reported just before 4 p.m. at the 80-unit Whispering Oaks Apartment Complex on Creekside Drive. The blaze reportedly sent seven residents of the apartment complex to the hospital with complaints of smoke inhalation, displaced residents of seven units, and closed down the street to traffic.

Creekside Drive leads off South Main Street and is mostly lined with apartment complexes and a few medical professional offices. It backs up against the southern most portion of Las Lomas High School and, on the east, against a section of the Ironhorse Trail that runs along South Broadway.

The Times says that as the fire winded down, "firefighters pulled a poodle puppy from the complex." says that a firefighter suffered some kind of back injury battling the blaze and was transported to John Muir Medical Center.

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