Author Archives: Editor

Fire damages West Sac home

According to the fire department, a couple of people were inside the Rogers Street house when fire was reported just before 6 a.m. (News-Ledger photo)

According to the fire department, a couple of people were inside the Rogers Street house when fire was reported just before 6 a.m. (News-Ledger photo)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JULY 31, 2013 —

Right around 6 a.m. Monday morning, local firefighters responded to a call on Rogers Street and found a “fully involved garage fire” at this home.

“Fortunately, the fire was contained to the garage and attic, but there was some smoke damage to the rest of the house,” said Battalion Chief Shawn Kite of the West Sacramento Fire Department. “The cause is still under investigation, but from what I can tell, it started in the garage.”

Kite said he understood that two people were in the house when the fire started. No injuries have been reported. He estimated the damage at around $75-80,000, and said that Red Cross was assisting the residents.

Four West Sacramento engines and a truck responded to the fire, and units from Davis helped provide coverage as a backup. No neighboring homes were damaged by the fire.

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Firefighters practice on Marshall Road

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — JULY 31, 2013 —

West Sacramento firefighters will be practicing their fire control techniques over the next couple of hours (early afternoon, July 31) at a Southport structure donated for their use.

The controlled burn will take place at 3450 Marshall Road, near Golden Gate Drive.

According to Division Chief Becky Ramirez, firefighters will focus on “defensive techniques” — attempting to contain the fire in just one portion of the structure, or coming up with a strategy to keep it from spreading to (hypothetical) adjoining structures.

The burn has been scheduled for some time, pending approval of air quality officials who were waiting for suitable conditions.  Neighbors have been notified, Ramirez told the News-Ledger.

The landowners plan to demolish the structure after the burn practice.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Kids’ music camp performs a finale

Final summer performance of the West Sacramento KIDS Music Camp (Click to enlarge).Information and photo courtesy of Charlotte Dorsey, BBCAN

Final summer performance of the West Sacramento KIDS Music Camp (Click to enlarge).Information and photo courtesy of Charlotte Dorsey, BBCAN

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JULY 24, 2013 —

The annual “Kids Summer Music Camp” presented a public concert on Thursday in front of parents and friends.

The camp offered a number of local children their first experience with a musical instrument. It was part of the K.I.D.S. program of the West Sacramento Parks and Recreation Department. Although that program works with several schools, music camp was offered this year solely in conjunction with Elkhorn Village Elementary School.

Participation was free to the kids, and instruments were provided. Working with the parks department to support the music camp were the Bryte and Broderick Community Action Network and West Sacramento Music Academy.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Teen maimed by improvised fireworks

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JULY 24, 2013 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

The “4th of July” fireworks season wasn’t all fun and games this year in West Sacramento.

“On July 7, a 19-year old man blew off his hand – literally blew it off – as a result of the detonation of an improvised fireworks device,” said Lieutenant Tod Sockman of the West Sacramento Police Department.

“Basically, he made a homemade firework and took it out of his backpack,” Sockman told the News-Ledger. “When he lit it and raised it over his head, it blew his hand off.”

The victim was Alexander Baker. The incident occurred at about 3 p.m. on the 2200-block of Rice Avenue, said Sockman. Two other people were on scene but “at a distance” when it blew. Sockman added that police weren’t sure about the device’s origin:

“He claimed to have found it, but we don’t know. He went to UC Davis Medical Center for treatment. I know that he’s had surgery, and he lost his hand up to his forearm.”

Sockman said investigators were still determining what the device was made from, but that it wasn’t a “safe and sane” type of legal fireworks.

Three seasons ago, the City of West Sacramento legalized “safe and sane” fireworks. Charities were selected by lottery to sell these fireworks by lottery, and they could legally be set off this year from noon on July 28 through noon on July 6.

With fireworks season comes complaints from local residents about neighbors using illegal styles of fireworks – powerful exploding types, or aerial fireworks. The News-Ledger observed dozens of such complaints in police call logs early this month.

But Sockman says that – at least judging by calls to police – the problem of illegal fireworks is not rising year-by-year.

“Between June 28 and July 4, we tracked the calls for service (due misuse of fireworks) in 2012 and 2013,” said Sockman. “Last year, we had 88 calls for service related to fireworks. It was not necessarily for illegal fireworks. Sometimes, people are just saying, ‘hey, people are shooting off fireworks.’”

“We had 33 calls this year,” he added.  Peak time for the complaints went from about 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. during those days, said Sockman. But he noted that the number of complaints had dropped by over half from the previous year.

“On the Fourth of July, we actually assigned two officers to fireworks patrol,” he added.

No one was ever actually cited or arrested this year. People frequently “light them off and run,” so they’re gone when officers arrive, said Sockman.

So what should you do next year, if you believe someone is using fireworks illegally?

“Call us,” said Sockman. “The fact that we assigned two officers to handle this shows the importance. We appreciate those calls because we want to get the illegal fireworks off the street.”

 

  Do you like what you see here?

  You can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledge newspaper. It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

  You can even try it for free for two months if you live in West Sacramento. Just send your name and mailing address to FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2013