Four-alarm fire guts S.F. hotel on Easter Sunday
SAN FRANCISCO – Nearly 100 people were displaced Easter Sunday following a four-alarm fire that gutted a 60-unit residential hotel in the South of Market area.
Two residents suffered minor ankle injuries after they jumped from their second-story windows. Others suffered smoke inhalation and were treated on the scene.
The fire sent black smoke billowing above San Francisco’s skyline at Howard and Sixth streets.
Some residents escaped out their windows and onto the roof until firefighters helped them down.
Firefighters battled the blaze during the morning fire, but said it continued burning due to the three-story building’s age and its numerous crawl spaces.
Displaced tenants are being housed at a nearby Red Cross shelter.
Firefighters are investigating the fire to determine how and where it started.
Community of squatters found in Hayward
HAYWARD – Hayward police this weekend discovered a small colony of alleged drug users and other squatters living illegally in an underground storage facility.
Six people were arrested and about a half pound of methamphetamine was confiscated last week. Several handguns and $3,000 also was seized by police.
The storage facility is located beneath a business complex. It housed at least five people, and a motorcycle shop and was equipped with beds, microwaves and refrigerators, Hayward police said.
The area used to be offices for JC Penney when it was located on Foothill Boulevard.
Some had lived in the storage facility up to nine months.
Man ordered to pay $2,000 for killing dog
MARTINEZ – A Martinez man convicted of fatally shooting his neighbor’s dog has paid $2,000 as part of his settlement.
Timothy Mulgrew sent his check to Voices for Pets in January. A note also was included, saying the money was a donation in memory of Teddy Dempster, the neighbors’ late son who had died of cancer after picking the dog out as his pet.
The civil settlement also calls for Mulgrew to pay the animal rights group for the cost of the black Labrador mix’s examination.
Mulgrew shot the dog, named Cole, while it was in a creek behind his house in June 1999.
The Dempsters sued Mulgrew for severe mental anguish. Mulgrew filed a cross-complaint accusing the family of negligence, saying the dog had entered his yard numerous times before and was a threat.
Mulgrew was convicted last April. He received 90 days of home arrest and two years probation.
Judge orders $1 million payment to retired Union City steelworkers
SAN JOSE – Retired Union City steelworkers will receive back pay for their health and pension plans.
U.S. District Judge Marilyn Patel ordered the release of $1 million to the steelworkers retired from the defunct Pacific States Steel Corp.
The Union City mill shut down in 1978, and workers have been fighting for their benefits ever since.
Patel also ordered $1 million be paid to an out-of-state environmental cleanup firm and $250,000 dollars to Hoffman and Lazear, the law firm that has represented the workers for the past 20 years.
Patel last week ordered that Palo Alto attorney Bruce Train was overpaid. She ordered him to repay $200,000 and to drop his request for $20 million additional dollars to compensate his work.
Boat sinks after collision with freighter
SAN FRANCISCO – A freighter leaving San Francisco bound for Los Angeles struck a fishing boat earlier today, sinking the smaller vessel.
The collision happened 17 miles southwest of the Golden Gate Bridge.
The two fisherman on board a 30-foot boat quickly put on their floatation gear before their boat sank.
The men were uninjured and swam to another fishing boat.
The operators of the freighter may not have been aware they struck the smaller craft, according to U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Christian Allaire.