Mystery persists as to cause of house fire | December 19, 2008 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

News - December 19, 2008

Mystery persists as to cause of house fire

Next-door neighbors displaced, are staying in nearby hotel

by Janet Pelletier

There's still many unanswered questions as to what led to an explosion and the ignition of flames that destroyed a house on East Angela Street, seriously injuring a woman and damaging two neighboring homes.

Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department officials have handed the investigation over to the Pleasanton Police Department, according to fire spokeswoman Sabina Imrie. Imrie said in instances where the fire is severe, damage estimates are in the $1 million range and there are major injuries, it's common for the fire department to transfer the case to police.

Sgt. Jim Knox of the Pleasanton Police Department declined to discuss details of the investigation, including whether the fire, which occurred on Dec. 8, was caused by a natural gas line leak or any other ignition device. He said he couldn't determine when police would wrap up the case or reveal more information.

"We're looking at a number of issues," Knox said. "Because it's an ongoing investigation, I'm not going to disclose any details of the investigation. At this point, it's undetermined exactly where and how it started."

Knox said 40-year-old Deonna Zuffa, who received second- and third-degree burns, is still receiving care at St. Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco, where she is in critical but stable condition. Donations, both monetary and clothing, are being received by Pleasanton Middle School, where the youngest son of the family, Devon Zuffa, is a seventh-grader. For information, call the school at 426-4390.

The fire not only displaced the Zuffa family, but also the DePieros, who live next door.

Their two-story home in the 800 block of East Angela Street sustained damage to two bedrooms and it's estimated that they won't be able to live in the house for up to three months.

The DePieros, an elderly couple who live with their daughter Nancy Dooty and her two teenage children, are currently staying at a local hotel. Efforts are in the works to set up a bank account for donations to help the family. Check for updates.

Records show the house where the fire originated was sold in a foreclosure sale Sept. 30 to Marilyn and Richard Greenberg and it's unclear if the Greenberg's had insurance on the single-story home, valued on some real estate websites at $938,000.

Family escapes garage fire

Another Pleasanton home was recently damaged by a fire, displacing the family to a hotel until the home is fixed.

Nancy Bowen, a neighbor, said another neighbor leaving for work around 4 a.m. Sunday saw flames while driving down Valley Trails Drive and called 911. The neighbor also called her husband, whom Bowen said pried open the fence to the home to wake up the family.

Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department spokeswoman Sabina Imrie said the garage fire in a home in the 3000 block of Harpers Ferry Court was started by a car fire and spread to the garage. Three engines and a truck were dispatched and the fire was put out at 4:37 a.m. Firefighters were able to contain it to the garage, Imrie said.

The damage to the garage is estimated to cost $70,000 as well as an additional $50,000 in lost goods, which includes a vehicle.

Imrie confirmed the efforts of the neighbor to wake the family, saying the two adults, a 17-year-old and a 21-month-old baby didn't suffer any injuries.


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Castlewood
on Dec 22, 2008 at 11:23 pm

What's up with all the fires?? Alisal, then the Zaffas and now another family!!! talk about Happy Holidays

Posted by jessica, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 23, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Actually, it's the Zuffa family... and that is the fire they are referring to.

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