Oakland

Apartment condemned after suspicious fire

Police are looking for two people who were injured following a suspicious fire that caused an Oakland apartment building to fall off its foundation Friday night, a battalion chief said.

A dog also suffered burns in the blaze, fire officials said.

Fire crews responded at 10:45 p.m. to 638 E. 17th St. for a report of an apartment building on fire, Battalion Chief Melinda Drayton said.

There, responding firefighters found a small fire in the back unit of a 2 ½-story apartment building, Drayton said.

The two-alarm fire at the multi-family complex was under control about 20 minutes later.

A preliminary investigation revealed butane gas canisters at the back unit likely exploded and caused the fire, Dayton said.

Witnesses said they saw two people with possible burn injuries leaving the unit and police on Saturday were looking for them.

A city engineer who responded to the scene condemned the building because it is uninhabitable, Dayton said.

A dog suffering from burns at the scene was treated by firefighters then released the animal to Oakland Animal Services, fire officials said.

-- Natalie Neysa Alund, Staff

Castro Valley

Fireworks tossed into yard blamed for fire

Illegal fireworks thrown from a passing car on Interstate 580 were the likely cause of a small backyard fire in Castro Valley on Friday, a fire department spokeswoman said.

Alameda County firefighters responded to multiple reports of an explosion on Lobert Street around 6:20 p.m. and extinguished the fire in about a half-hour. The fire burned an area of about 15 feet by 5 feet.

No one was injured, and no structures were damaged, according to Aisha Knowles of the Alameda County Fire Department.

"Smoke was visible from 580," Knowles said. "There was some concern from drivers on the freeway."

Drivers called the California Highway Patrol to report that someone threw something over the sound wall.

-- Samantha Clark, Staff

Union City

Victim of fatal fire identified

The person killed in a house fire Tuesday in Union City has been identified as 93-year-old Peregrino Baclig.

One person died and another was injured in the fire that was reported around 3 p.m. at a home in the 3300 block of San Carlos Way, the Alameda County Fire Department said.

-- Staff and wire reports

Berkeley

BART police arrest serial robbery suspect

BART police arrested a juvenile Friday morning suspected of robbing at least three BART passengers at gunpoint at the North Berkeley station over an eight-day span.

The boy robbed his victims at similar morning commute times and at the same location, in the parking lot, police said. Victims reported a similar description.

Around 6:45 a.m. June 18, the suspect demanded cash from a victim in the west parking lot of the North Berkeley station before running away and then robbed someone else five minutes later.

On Wednesday, the suspect demanded cash again at 5:47 a.m. No one was injured in any of the robberies.

BART police and Berkeley police staged extra patrols at the station Thursday. On Friday morning, BART police saw someone matching the description of the suspect and arrested him on the edge of the station, near Franklin and Francisco streets.

Police found a gun and took the suspect to Alameda County Juvenile Hall.

-- Samantha Clark, Staff

Pinole

Man escapes car before train impact

A man jumped out of his Mercedes Benz just seconds before it was struck and demolished by an Amtrak train late Friday.

Firefighters were dispatched just before 10 p.m. to the Tenant Avenue railroad crossing for a report of a train crash, Battalion Chief Steve Akre said.

Responding crews found that a late model Mercedes Benz had been struck by a westbound Amtrak train on or near the railroad crossing.

The Mercedes came to rest at the center of the crossing, Akre said.

Firefighters found that the solo occupant of the Mercedes had exited the vehicle prior to the collision, Akres said. He was not injured.

Neither was anyone aboard the train.

Although the train was not significantly damaged, Akre said the Mercedes was totalled. Crews remained on scene for several hours cleaning up spilled fluids and debris from the car.

The crash remains under investigation by Pinole Police, Amtrak and Union Pacific PD.

-- Natalie Neysa Alund, Staff