Foster City is a planned city located in San Mateo County, California. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 28,803.
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2 Investigates uncovered new details about the smoke detectors inside a public housing unit where a fire killed a mother and her 3-year-old son in April. According to documents 2 Investigates obtained, the victim submitted a work order weeks prior asking the San Francisco Housing Authority to fix the smoke detector.
Work orders submitted for broken smoke detector
2 Investigates submitted a records request to the San Francisco Housing Authority. According to the records, victim Esther Ionae put in a work order for a broken smoke detector at 76 Brookdale Avenue on March 31, 2014 approximately two weeks before the fire. The fire killed Ionae and her son Santana Williams.
“I think not only that it could have been prevented, I think it should have been prevented and unfortunately I think it may happen again,” said Christopher Dolan, an attorney for Ionae’s family.
The work order granted permission for an electrician to enter the unit even if no one is home.
Still, according to more Housing Authority records obtained by 2 Investigates, the electrician never entered and the smoke detector was not repaired.
Turned away at the door
The San Francisco Housing Authority hired an attorney as well as a private company to investigate the fire.
According to the company’s initial review, an unidentified woman turned the electrician away at the door three times.
“He knocked on the door and he was not allowed access,” said Kevin Cholakian, an attorney for the San Francisco Housing Authority.
Cholakian says the private company, Fire Cause Analysis, discovered three dismantled smoke detectors in a drawer.
The San Francisco Fire Department would not confirm or deny that but a fire department spokesperson told 2 Investigates the smoke detectors “may have been present but not in the place they should have been.”
“Now they're trying to say that they were stuffed in a drawer but they knew back on March 31st they were not working,” said Dolan.
Final fire department report pending
The San Francisco Fire Department is still finalizing its investigative report pending the medical examiner completing the victims’ autopsies.
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 22:47:25 -0700
Tracks in the sand near the shoreline of Francis State Beach, show the spot where people tried to rescue Adam Pye after a sand tunnel collapsed over the 26-year-old San Lorenzo man Monday afternoon.
His parents and family gathered at their house in San Lorenzo Tuesday, still in shock over the loss of the young man they say had a bright smile and a bright future ahead.
"A perfect son, a perfect brother, a perfect friend...a perfect cousin," said Debra Pye, in tears, holding a photo of her son.
Pye's parents say Adam's trip to the beach with close family friends was supposed to be a well-deserved rest for their hard-working son, who had just graduated June 14th from Cal State East Bay, with a major in business communications.
His parents say the 26-year-old had been helping friends dig a tunnel about 10 feet deep, when it collapsed about 5:30p.m. Monday.
"The girls came out of their tunnel, his tunnel caved in and they turned around and said, where's Adam, where's Adam?" said Kevin Pye, Adam's father.
The sand had trapped Adam. His father says the girls tried to save him, by holding up his head which was briefly exposed, before more sand gave way.
Friends and strangers on the beach ran to help.
"There were dozens, dozens of people from the beach, men, women and children pulling sand out of this hole," said George Fry, a camper from Utah who also rushed to help dig with his hands.
"You're just grabbing sand a little bit at a time," Fry told KTVU.
First responders from the Coastside Fire Protection District arrived about four minutes after the call.
"They were just starting to get to his head when our first crews got there," said Fire Captain Jonathan Cox who was at the scene.
Cox says Adam was unconscious when paramedics managed to clear sand away from his head and open his airway. After 35 minutes of digging, crews managed to pull him out. They performed CPR but were not able to revive him.
Pye's mother says Adam had worked hard since the age of 15, when he got a job selling concessions at the Oakland Coliseum. His parents say their son had worked his way through school, putting in 12-13 hours on the night shift at the Oakland Airport UPS facility and then turning around to attend school during the day.
"That was all he ever did was just school work and finally he graduated to say Mom, finally, now I have some time, I can rest," Debra Pye told KTVU.
Fire officials say while many people think of danger from waves and water at the beach, sand is an equal threat.
"It's extremely unstable, sand is in its nature. And it obviously collapsed extremely quickly," Cox said.
Fire officials covered the holes to make sure no one falls in. They say with so many people on the beaches during this season, they hope people will realize the danger that sand can pose.Tue, 22 Jul 2014 22:39:53 -0700
New enforcement officers will soon be monitoring the water usage of Santa Clara County residents.
The Santa Clara Valley Water District Board Tuesday night unanimously approved half a million dollars to hire up to 10 temporary personnel.
The plan is to have them respond to complaints about water wasters, a position some have referred to as "water cops". The goal is to help decrease water usage across the county by 20 percent compared to last year.
"It's probably going to take us 30 days to put the plan together and hire the staff and get them trained and out in the field," said Jerry Delapiedra, the district's water use efficiency unit Manager. "So we're looking at probably end of August."
The additional enforcement will be looking for violations outlined by the state, including washing down driveways and sidewalks, using drinking water in a fountain that doesn't recirculate, washing a car using a hose without a shut-off nozzle, and excessive runoff from landscaping.
"Hey it's not a business-as-usual year," said Teresa Alvarado, the district's Deputy Administrative Officer. "This is an exceptional drought. We have to take exceptional actions."
Neighbors will be able to call in a complaint or simply upload photos of suspected offenders via the district's "Access Valley Water" app.
The District says it's already getting calls about water wasters and the number doubled in the last day to more than a dozen.
Water officials say while rates will not be going up, the cost ultimately will be passed on to water customers.
Some residents think the new plan is a waste of time and money since the water district can't enforce any fines but only educate customers.
"They have to call someone else to give you a ticket so what's the use of having them come around?" said resident Bob Palacios.Tue, 22 Jul 2014 22:33:28 -0700 News Source: MedleyStory More Local News Stories