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Pleasanton: Chabad Center damaged in overnight fire

Original post made on Aug 9, 2019

The Chabad Center for Jewish Life caught fire overnight but remains largely intact Friday morning, with a quick response from local firefighters limiting the significant damage to the exterior and roof of the Pleasanton synagogue.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 9, 2019, 12:02 PM

Comments (12)

Posted by James Michael
a resident of Val Vista
on Aug 9, 2019 at 12:44 pm

James Michael is a registered user.

Shalom alechem, Rabbi.

Posted by Puzzled
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2019 at 12:56 pm

Why would there be several children's bicycles in different sizes shown in the picture the Pleasanton Weekly posted if the building was unoccupied? Why would a set of bicycles be present overnight? From the pictures, it looks like a family with many children of various ages could have been living in the building.

Posted by Steve
a resident of another community
on Aug 9, 2019 at 1:27 pm

I hope it's not arson. Thankfully, no one was hurt. Building can be replaced.

Posted by Slack
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2019 at 5:13 pm

@ Puzzled - There seems to be some confusion. Up until the fire, the building was used daily by the congregation, not unoccupied as you may have suspected. With small children there from time to time and during services, bikes of various sizes are absolutely normal. No family living there, not sure where that idea/speculation came from.

Posted by pope john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2019 at 9:10 pm

Rabbi activity and commentary is suspicious!

Posted by Appalled
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2019 at 11:08 pm

I find the entire situation appalling. The adjoining neighborhoods could have all caught on fire in the middle of the night causing a complete tragedy.

Also, I find that the article did not at all discuss nor explore the issues involving ongoing construction at this building.

For instance, why do city records online indicate that the electrical final inspection never performed for electrical work --- changes to the outlets and lighting work for 100+ canned lights --- being installed in the building? City records on the internet show on 4/9 this was recorded at 11:36 AM:

Date: 4/9/2019 Not ready for Final.

Though some issues were resolved, it looks like there was never a final inspection.
Why was a business allowed to go 4 months without ever receiving a final inspection?

Previous notations say:
"4/5/2019 This was more a rough electrical inspection. Not ready for a Final. 1. Need Min 15AFF to bottom of wall outlets. 2. For proposed chandeliers provide specs to the electrician in particular for the weight to determine the support boxes. 3. At existing j-box to be made accessible through the attic. Ok to cover false/soffit framing of the ceiling only. Schedule a rough electrical inspection for item No. 1."

In the end, the record say this and the final inspection with a full pass never seemed to happen or if it did, it is not in the city records. There was only a partial pass.

Completed (3)
2- Partial Pass - 2; 6- Cancelled - 1

2- Partial Pass 999 Final (1179993)
Result by: Alfredo Vasquez on 04/05/2019 at 10:09 AM

2- Partial Pass 405 Rough Electrical (1180126)
Result by: Alfredo Vasquez on 04/09/2019 at 11:36 AM

6- Cancelled 999 Final (1180081)
Result by: Alfredo Vasquez on 04/09/2019 at 11:36 AM

Posted by Grumpy
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Aug 10, 2019 at 9:57 am

Grumpy is a registered user.

Appalled and others,

It seems awfully unusual that you would be trying to litigate here a beef with the group, and would have so closely tracked the permitting of the building, so soon after the fire. Clearly you are not a fan of theirs and have been paying unusually close attention to them.

Posted by James Michael
a resident of Val Vista
on Aug 10, 2019 at 10:35 am

James Michael is a registered user.

I think the Grump is right. Maybe part of the same group of disgruntled neighbors that made the Masons flee.

Posted by resident
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 10, 2019 at 12:32 pm

In my many trips to the synagogue, I've never seen Congregation Beth Emek have bicycles in front or back of the building. It doesn't have bicycles outside.

Those that demand cancellations for building inspections and receive them for major electrical retrofit work must have powerful friends in city hall.

Posted by Chabad Member
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 11, 2019 at 1:00 am

As a member of the congregation, I see it important to set the record straight and not allow hatred, lies, and baseless accusations to be publicly spewed:

1) As per Chabad’s Conditional Use Permit, the outside of the back of the building (where the fire began) is to be a buffer area and not to be used for gatherings. Hence it is used as storage for equipment including youth and sports items such as bikes, basketball hoops, etc.

2) Chabad’s sanctuary is in the process of being remodeled by a licensed contractor with building permits. When the renovation is complete, a final inspection will take place. The sanctuary is on the other side of the building far away from the fire and was untouched by the fire.

Posted by Ptown Mom of 3
a resident of Foothill High School
on Aug 12, 2019 at 10:24 am

Ptown Mom of 3 is a registered user.

I agree with Grumpy! Leave this group alone and let them use their property for their benefit and the community at large. The prior owners The Masons, used this building for rental and tried to stay afloat, but your constant complaining drove them away. Now you are just creating problems for the new owners. Get a life. It's not like they are running a "massage" parlor out of there!

Posted by James Michael
a resident of Val Vista
on Oct 16, 2019 at 6:25 pm

James Michael is a registered user.

This story is over two months old. Any cause of the fire yet?

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