All posts by Verenice

Body Found in Anaheim Commercial Fire

Anaheim ( – A body was found burned inside a charred car in a three-alarm fire at a commercial structure in Anaheim Monday night and police were investigating the possibility of foul play.

When firefighters arrived at 1081 N. Shepard Street, near La Palma Avenue, and broke through a roll-up door in the warehouse-like structure housing a row of commercial properties, they found a car which had been burned and a dead body inside, said Anaheim police Sgt. Rick Martinez.

Martinez, who was awaiting forensic investigators at the scene, said he did not know whether the victim was a man or a woman. Martinez called it a “suspicious” death but added “we don’t really know the circumstances.” The location was reportedly a machine shop. Neighbors told him that the employees of the shop worked at all hours of the day and night. The fire was reported at 7:53 p.m., an Anaheim fire dispatcher said. The investigation is ongoing.

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Bakersfield City refuses to negotiate in good faith with unions

By DEREK TISINGER / In his May 27 Community Voices article, Bakersfield City Councilman Zack Scrivner stated that he is working to put more police officers on the street. That’s an interesting statement coming from a career politician who, just last December, was instrumental in helping to reduce the authorized strength of the Bakersfield Police Department by 29 officers.

In fact, during Scrivner’s watch, both the Bakersfield Police Department and the Bakersfield Fire Department have been methodically reduced to some of the lowest staffing levels in California.This not only compromises the ability of the two public safety agencies to accomplish their respective missions, but the associations representing the employees of both agencies are now concerned that the situation will create serious safety concerns for our employees. Where is the leadership that this city really needs? How can we cut fire and police positions when Bakersfield City Manager Alan Tandy and his managers took an 8 percent raise? The council and the citizens should be demanding that Tandy and his managers return their raises before any other city-staffed position is cut in Bakersfield. That would show real leadership. Taxpayers are screaming for cuts at the top, not from the rank-and-file service providers. Continue reading Bakersfield City refuses to negotiate in good faith with unions

Watsonville, firefighters reach deal: 7.5 percent compensation cut prevents layoffs

WATSONVILLE – Firefighters and city management have reached a deal that will keep Watsonville Fire Department operating at current levels of service.
The agreement, finalized Monday, calls for firefighters to pick up a greater share of their retirement contributions and accept reduced benefits to save the city 7.5 percent in compensation costs in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 fiscal years.
In return, the City Council will rescind a plan to cut department jobs and services.
“Nobody ever wants to give anything up,” said Matt McCollum, president of Watsonville Professional Firefighters, Local 1272. “(But) everybody’s pleased we don’t have to reduce (the department) to unsafe levels or have layoffs.” Continue reading Watsonville, firefighters reach deal: 7.5 percent compensation cut prevents layoffs

Fire damages half-century old business in Wayne

An alert passerby notified authorities of flames coming from the second floor of a 75′ X 125′ strip mall at 1459 Route 23 South at approximately 7:45am today, Thursday, June 18. Township companies 5, 2 and 1 were dispatched and the first arriving chief declared a working fire and requested remaining companies 3 and 4 to the scene. The fire was ultimately determined to be largely on the exterior of the building and
was doused quickly by the initial companies on the scene. There was some slight extension to the second floor and to the attic area, and the first floor received some smoke and water damage, but the swift actions of the crews did certainly avert what could have been, a much worse disaster.

The award winning business, Wayne Tile, was started by Bob Westra in 1955 in a garage. A few years later, his two brothers joined him and in 1963, 46 years ago, they moved to this location. They have since added three more locations and built a large warehouse just one block from this location. Their now grown children have taken over much of the active duties.

The fire was brought under control in under an hour and a preliminary investigation by Township Fire Investigator Scott Kooreman, points to the possibility of a lightning strike as the likely cause.

Story and photos by
Ron Johnson – NJMFPA
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