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Mystery persists as to cause of house fire

Original post made on Dec 18, 2008

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.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, December 18, 2008, 10:18 AM

Comments (11)

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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 18, 2008 at 8:56 pm

According to this story, the police sgt. says "At this point, it's undetermined exactly where and how it started."

This kind of statement released to the public is very commonly found in fire investigation cases before the complete facts are known or investigated sufficiently to arrive at official conclusions. The public is generally not very scientifically or critical thinking minded, and therefore buys into these statements that imply but don't say explicitly that little is known. But..... The officials are not saying they don't know what the fuel source was. They are saying they don't know what the "match" that set it off was ("how it started") and where ("exactly where") that match was located at the time of the explosion. Whether the fuel was gaseous, liquid, or solid is likely to already be known based upon the physical evidence and chemical evidence at the scene.

In fact the officials "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...." So, we know they know.

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Posted by D
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 18, 2008 at 9:18 pm

This house explosion is suspicious!! I hope the lady that got hurt is recovering better each day and for the other families that their houses were damaged from the explosion,you are in my thoughts and prayers!!!

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Posted by Suspicious
a resident of Amador Estates
on Dec 18, 2008 at 10:39 pm

I can recall several fires in Pleasanton and the cause of the fire is always released by the Fire Department. The fact that this fire was turned over to the Pleasanton Police Department makes me think there is a potential criminal element. This is going to be sad for all the many people collecting money, gift cards and donations for this family if my suspicions are true...

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Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 19, 2008 at 9:21 am

I'm wondering about the single sentence about the ownership of the house. It had been foreclosed on but the old family still lived there several months later? It looks like the Weekly just printed that from public records, though, and didn't interview anyone about it. Doesn't mean there's anything wrong or suspicious about that but it is unusual, especially about the insurance.

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Posted by mac
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 19, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Don't the public records say it sold at foreclosure for $75K? That,along with further investigation, does offer an air of suspicion. I, too, hope the individuals recover fully from any injuries.

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Posted by mac
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 19, 2008 at 2:45 pm

On second seems highly unrealistic that the 75K is accurate even in a foreclosure scenario. I can't imagine anyone letting such an expensive home go for pennies.

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Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on Dec 20, 2008 at 1:24 am

If a natural gas leak fills the interior of a house it can be ignited by simply "turning on/off" a light/appliance...

When an electrical switch is switched to the "off" position a tiny spark is generated as the switch contacts seperate. This "sparking" can also occur when turning "on" a swith where the contacts/wiring "make up" poorly. If enough gas is present this can cause ignition...

Use common sense and leave a house immediately if you have a strong smell of natural gas. Don't investigate - that's why we have PG&E. Let the experts do the investigating...

The young lady has my deepest sympathy and best wishes. I've known a severe burn victim and the road to recovery is long and extremely painful...

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2008 at 10:05 am

"On second seems highly unrealistic that the 75K is accurate even in a foreclosure scenario. I can't imagine anyone letting such an expensive home go for pennies."

Let the investigation continue and stop trying to speculate about what really happened.

If this was indeed a foreclosure, it was an unusual one - public records show that the people who now own the house also acted as lenders in the past, when refinancing took place.

Let the papers do the reporting. The focus should be: help the family by donating money.

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Posted by Irritated
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 24, 2008 at 10:13 am

I don't appreciate the negativity that is being spread about the "suspicious nature" of this fire. Does anyone even stop to think that the Zuffa kids may be reading what you are posting??? And as someone who knows and was involved in helping them out do I feel upset??? because what I did was, ultimately, for the kids and because I wanted to. You give because you want shouldn't give to someone in need with conditions attached.

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Posted by curious
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Feb 11, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Its time we are told what really happened? Enough with the mystery.

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Posted by No name!
a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2009 at 8:35 am

I live two towns away,& I hear all different stories. You people need to mind your own business,and STOP making up your own theory!
This is a great family! Let the police do their job!

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