Pleasanton Middle School, which is where the family's youngest son attends classes, has been leading a fundraising drive since early December. School secretary Karen Buchanan said the school has received $3,595, which includes cash and checks written out to PMS. That amount does not include checks written out in the Zuffa's name and dropped at the front office, she said, which were handed over to the family. The community has also supported the family through gift cards, totaling at least $2,000, Buchanan added. In addition to PMS's drive, Andrew Ochoa, a fellow classmate and friend of the youngest son, collected both monetary and clothing donations. To donate to the family, call PMS at 426-4390 or stop by the front office at 5001 Case Ave.
The woman who was injured, Deonna Zuffa, 40, is listed in critical but stable condition at St. Francis Memorial Hospital's Bothin Burn Center in San Francisco, according to police. A woman who answered the phone at the burn center Wednesday said the family was declining press inquiries.
Discussion has mounted on the Weekly's Town Square online discussion forum with users posting a number of their theories. Police, who were asked to investigate the fire by the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department, have classified the case as "suspicious," but have remained tight-lipped.
Here are the known facts about the incident: the fire broke out at about 11 a.m. Dec. 8 in the 800 block of East Angela Street. Deonna Zuffa, who was the only person home, was witnessed by neighbors running out of the home, engulfed by flames. The family's two dogs were not injured in the fire as they were being taken to a pet groomer. Neighbors said they heard a loud explosion that shook the ground, followed by the blaze that has left the single-story home located across the street from St. Augustine Catholic Church a total loss.
Police have ruled out natural gas as being the cause of the explosion and fire, but have not released an official cause. Police acknowledged that the Zuffas owned muscle cars and go-karts and had gasoline containers stored in the garage, but declined to say whether the gas may have contributed to the explosion or fire. Police have also declined to say where the fire was started, which also damaged two neighboring homes and displaced a second family.
Sgt. Jim Knox said police won't have any new information to reveal especially since they have yet to speak with Deonna Zuffa.
Zuffa and her husband Keith filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in June, according to public records. The case was dismissed on Oct. 30, but a court commissioner said it is still open and a court date was set for Feb. 9. Records also show the home was sold for $75,000 in a foreclosure sale on Sept. 30 to Marilyn and Richard Greenberg.
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