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Oakland Tribune Newspaper Archives Sep 23 1970, Page 1

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Oakland Tribune (Newspaper) - September 23, 1970, Oakland, California Bun f 97th year no. 266 wednesday september 10 daily a month Heartbreak heroism at fire by Frank Finney Tribune news editor i watched my neighbors Homes bum to the ground. It was a stunning sicken ing tragic spectacle. The three Way intersection of Norfolk Road Marlborough Terrace and Devon Way was an inferno. As i stood in the and around me Homes were burning Center of it buffeted by Strong winds hot ashes and searing heat Laden smoke five Nous is were flaming around me. Each was. A Gigantic Bonfire with sheets of fire reaching High into the surrounding Trees torching the Pines and spreading the Blaze. On Otic Side the Homes of Alan Pasternak of 7067 Devon and Gene Verhaagen his neighbor were ablaze. Across the Street Jack Good of 7060 Marlborough Terrace grimly watched As his Smol Dering roof Snook off sheets of water and burst into open flame. On the Down slope of Marlborough and the East Side of Devon two other houses were collapsing onto their foundations. I looked anxiously at the residence of Allan Kaufman a University of California physicist who lives at 7041 Devon Way. Last month an Extension to his Home incorporating a new entryway had been finished my wife and i had strolled past it the night be fore admiring the Handiwork of the architect and contractor. As i peered at it through the smoke it was untouched. But within minutes it too was burning. Hours later i strolled past it again but see Back Page col. 6 poignant scenes in fire ruins by Andy Jokelson Tribune staff writer a magnificent Pink Sunset lit the sky Over the Pacific Early last night but up in the Hills where the View was Awe some the victims of the Day s tragic fire did t seem to no Tice. Several of them sadly walked the Little streets that were now set in a horrible tableau. But in addition to Black ened Bare land common to each the Oakland scene had the added element of Homes literally burned to the ground. All that remained standing from Many of those destroyed Homes were Brick chimneys that somehow looked like charred Trees. The air reeked with an acrid odor through the night and the area seemed extraordinarily still despite a horde of firemen residents former residents Utility employees and others on the streets. And yet some of the Home less who went Back last night to look at the rubble where they once lived by and Large Clung to a Chin up Outlook. It in t the said mrs. Muriel Varney who lived alone at 6990 Devon Way and who had fled from her Burn ing House with her dog. Everything s gone but still it in t the end of the but she said she did t exactly know what she d do about the future. I can t continued Pafe 2, c fire pictures a look at the action from inside by Norm Hannon Tribune staff writer approaching the flames of yesterday s conflagration up Norfolk Road from bucking Ham Boulevard there was no Way of knowing we were walking almost into the Center of devastation. It was about a.m., about an hour and a half after the first alarm. Visibility was poor in the acrid eucalyptus scented smoke. And there a Tongue of flame was visible through the thick stuff but there was no immediate sense of danger. The Way out seemed Clear. Just go Back. One fire truck two firemen a Cycle patrolman a couple of plainclothes policemen a newsman and photographer suddenly found themselves at Norfolk and Westmoreland drives with different jobs to do. Don t go any further up there Norfolk you can t get through. Every thing s said a Young Man who was headed briskly Back Down toward bucking Ham. Then two blazing Homes were spotted on the lower Side of Westmoreland and others seemed threatened by creep ing flames from below. Everyone seemed to decide tacitly that this was the place that needed their attention. The two Homes which were now flaming skeletons were photographed from the car port above the Home next door 7030 the siding of the Carport afforded some Protection from the intense heat. The Cycle officer de bar Ham seeing no danger of loot ing at this stage manned a Small Hose and began Spray ing the Fence of a House across the Street. He was soaking wet already when we interrupted him to wet our handkerchiefs and put them Over our Mouths. The smoke was growing steadily worse but through it now we were Able to see several Homes glowing like torches farther up Norfolk. One of the plainclothes men Greg Karczewski had a Small Hose and was spraying the ground cover a mixture of eucalyptus leaves and Pine Nee continued Page 2, col. 3 holocaust in Hills consumes 37 Homes million damage by Del Lane Tribune stiff writer a Day of tragic loss and miraculous rescues in the Berkeley Oakland Hills in a terrible contest be tween Man and fire. Just How great a loss remained in doubt even to Day but the fire exacted a tremendous toll. Flare posed new threats this afternoon. At least 37 Homes were destroyed and 12 dam aged. The very lowest Dollar loss estimate was Well Over million. It could easily double even triple. Man however won the Battle for life. There were 15 injured none seriously and no deaths. But fire won in the contest Over Home after Home. Flames jumped swirled roared in towering sheets through Trees exploded furiously with frightening Speed in one House then another Only to spare the next. Hundreds of professional firefighters and Dar ing pilots were aided by homeowners with Garden hoses housewives and volunteers Street people and see Back Page col. 1 Jordan drives out Syria truce fails Arafat Calls for Airlift of . Nasser s help citizens studied compiled from a and up Jordan s tiny air Force to Day broke the Back of a Syri an armoured thrust into Jordan and sent the invading tanks Back across the Border. King Hussein announced a peace agreement with palestinian guerrillas but the declared truce quickly fell apart. Shortly after Hussein made his peace announcement Yas ser Arafat Leader of the combined guerrilla forces said in a broadcast monitored in Bei rut that the four captured guerrilla leaders who signed the agreement were not a see Back Fife pm. T by Raymond Lawrence foreign news analyst the United states is about to decide whether to Send civilian aircraft into Amman to evacuate american citizens trapped in the jordanian civil War. Informed sources in Washington told the a a decision May be reached tomorrow. In Jordan there Are about 400 american nationals. Some officials would be brought out and private citizens evacuated on a voluntary basis. The total is expected to be approximately 200. The four Point agreement reached by King Hussein and Back Pip col. 1 setting Tun soldering of test and hitting water on coals lowly moment for a Devon Way

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