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Oakland Tribune Newspaper Archives Sep 23 1970, Page 16

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Oakland Tribune (Newspaper) - September 23, 1970, Oakland, California 16 f wed. It 23, 1970 Homes Hopes in ashes from Page 1 students the aged and to Heyoung. Side by Side they fought the wind whipped flames for control of tinder underbrush Trees and the Homes representing lifetime investments. We count 37 Homes destroyed and 12 Oakland fire chief James j. Sweeney or. Said today. It is by far the worst fire in terms of residential area damage since the Berkeley fire of he said. Dol Lar damages will run from to million and that was Only a conservative estimate Sweeney said. In san Francisco spokes men for the american insurance association said their preliminary compilation indicated 39 Homes destroyed and six damaged but expected it to mount. Insured losses will total be tween and million the association estimated. Moves were under Way to obtain a disaster area designation preliminary to seeking Federal Aid. Chief Sweeney said the fire was Man made either carelessness o r deliberate. There have been deliberate fires in that Hill area investigation continues. The fire he said almost from the Start was a fire of disastrous Small blazes broke out at scattered Points repeatedly Dur ing the night and again today. Firemen patrolled the area. Power and some phone service was out for hours. Planes May evacuate americans continued from Page 1 the no. 2 guerrilla Leader appears highly unlikely to end the War in Jordan. In Washington. President Nixon called the National Security Council into session for a top level assessment but the weaknesses Are apparent. Previous agreements b e tween the jordanian govern ment and the palestinians have collapsed within hours. The latest one announced by King Hussein was made by Abu Ayad the Leader who was captured four Days ago. Aside from the fact that he is a captive and thus agreeing to terms under unfavourable conditions Ayad cannot speak for the top Boss of the guerrillas Yasir Arafat head of Al Fatah which is the most pow Erful element and also of the Palestine liberation organization which includes 10 other guerrilla groups. A cease fire is not even mentioned in the announced terms of the agreement. Nei ther is the popular front for the liberation of Palestine which is marxist violently militant and responsible for tie recent air plane hijackings. There is also the larger Crit ical question of whether the Palestine leadership which is divided and often at Odds will Ever be Able to control All the diverse elements of the guerrilla movement. Although there Are no Indi cations that the administration is going beyond the pre cautionary measures already taken the president last night called to the White House a group of influential senators for a session on the Middle East crisis. The White House today said it had no information that Syria is heeding the . Request to withdraw its forces from Northern Jordan. The up reported that one White House visitor yesterday quoted the president As say ing the american people do not have the heart to go into another but Washington attention for the moment so far As diplomacy is concerned is Cen tired on the efforts of the Arab Summit level Mission sent to Amman yesterday As a result of the Cairo meeting. American officials have expressed Hope that the Arab leaders peace making efforts succeed in Amman because it would reduce the possibility of United states military intervention. No doubt but there still re Mains the big question of whether any settlement re storing King Hussein s authority throughout the country and suppressing the rebellious palestinians would command the respect and compliance of All guerrilla elements. They have in the past been just As de fiant of Cairo As Amman. But Nixon administration leaders still Are reported to believe that More extended negotiations might change the picture. Police sealed off streets and watched for looters. The fire scarred hundreds of acres below grizzly Peak Boulevard and fish ranch Road. It edged to Claremont Avenue on the North swept Down to Gravatt drive in the direction of the Claremont hotel and raged toward the Caldecott Tunnel before being halted near Bristol drive just Short of Tunnel Road. An estimated 200 acres was burned 185 of them within Oakland City limits. The rav aged Homes were in Oakland although some had Berkeley mailing addresses. Sweeney also noted that the burning of so much Hill area vegetation could result in damaging mud slides during the next Rainy season. The fire was awesome. Flames shot 200 feet in the air a Yellowish Haze blanketed the Bay area and Billows of smoke could be seen As far away As Napa. It began possibly by an arsonist s hand in the grass along fish ranch Road shortly before . Swept up the slope by winds that gusted to 30 . At the Crest the fire topped the Ridge and be Gan eating its Way Down through the gullies and knolls on the Oakland Side where hundreds of Homes Are nestled. By noon up to 400 firefight ers from departments All Over the Bay area were battling the Blaze hampered by Low water pressure when electric Power supplying pumps was Cut. Eleven air planes from the state d i v i s i o n of forestry swooped daringly through the narrow draws dumping red Clouds of bentonite a fire retardant chemical. Long haired Young people some of them University of California students streamed into the Hills to Man hoses beat the flames with their jackets and swung shovels. Some of them in a reflection of their iconoclastic life style hitch hiked to the scene on fire trucks. The fire roared downhill and crossed Grandview drive which had been a planned stopping Point for the Blaze and then jumped Alvarado Road another holding line. Henry j. Kaiser or. Elementary school 25 s. Hill court was evacuated then set up As a rest area for fire fighters. The Bentley school 1 Hiller dr., Berkeley was also evacuated but plans for the evacuation of the California schools for the deaf and Blind weren t needed. Water supplies quickly be came a critical Factor As Resi dents braved the Clouds of smoke and the blazing eucalyptus Trees to wet Down their roofs with Garden hoses. The East Bay municipal Utility District s Gwinn tank a steel Reservoir at grizzly Peak Boulevard and Marlborough Terrace nearly full when the fire broke out was almost emptied before portable generators could be brought in to drive pumps to fill it. Strat Moor tank downhill from Gwinn had about Gallons but its pumps too were disabled when Power was Cut. Fire trucks ran Short of Gas Oline needed to Power their portable pumps. Oakland and Berkeley fire department Crews and equip ment were supplemented by others from the state division of forestry Vacaville fair Field Pittsburg Al Sobrane Contra Costa consolidated Mare Island Hayward san Leandro Emeryville n e w Ark Davis and san Francisco Oakland fire department spokesmen said. Six companies from Contra Costa departments had to be released when other fires believed to have been set by arsonists broke out in the Rich Mondel Sobrane area. East Bay regional Park District Ranger Tom Williams Tribune photo by run Reed from of it wifi states aviation Concord two smaller fires charred Richmond Hills while Berkeley Oakland Blaze destroyed Homes and Trees to the South top of picture guerrillas agree to truce in Jordan syrians routed continued from Page 1 theorized to act on behalf of the palestinians. He appealed to egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nas ser to intervene in the conflict. Marshal Habis maj Ali the jordanian chief of staff re ported the rout of the syrian tank units. Israeli military correspondents confirmed the jordanian Victory and said Jordan s air Force of 38 jets routed the syrian Armor and that syrian remnants were being pursued toward the Bor Der. Political sources said the syrian withdrawal had de fused the most tense situation the Middle East had faced since the 1967 War. Israel remained on the Alert and there were reports air Force and tank troops had been mobilized. Hussein announced the end of the War agreement in a joint statement with sudanese Premier Gaafar Al Nur Nairi one of a four Man mediating team sent to Amman by an Arab Summit meeting in Cairo. The announcement was broadcast by Amman radio. The current Middle East crisis began with the Hijack ing of Western planes to the jordanian desert by palestini an guerrillas two weeks ago and flared into civil War sept. 17 when Hussein proclaimed a military government in Jor Dan. The syrian invasion starting last weekend worsened the situation but the United states and Britain asked Russia to Appeal to the syrian regime to withdraw its forces from Jor Dan before the Mideast exploded. Early today Hussein after issuing the plan for ending the War freed four guerrilla Lead ers captured by his men in fighting that devastated am Man and left thousands Home less and starving. Leaders of the 10 Arab nations gathered in Cairo for a Summit conference yesterday. They held a series of informal meetings while their peace Mission negotiated in Amman with Hussein and the guerrilla leaders. The mediators were led by Numajiri and included pre Mier Bahi Langham of Tuni Sia defense minister sheikh Sadd a Abdulla assabah of Kuwait and the egyptian chief of staff it. Gen. Mohammed Sadek. Maj Ali s statement of the syrian army defeat followed an earlier statement by Hus Sein that his army and air Force had bloodied the nose of the invaders. The syrian forces backed by 200 tanks inflicted heavy casualties on the jordanian 40th armoured brigade in fighting monday and yester Day. But As the situation apparently improved in the rest of the country maj Ali was Able to move up two tank regi ments for the counterattack. The entire sector Between Irbid and Ramatha has been cleaned of the a Jali said. They suffered heavy casualties in their Cha Otic he said the withdrawing forces headed toward Crad a town about 10 Miles inside Syria. Maj Ali declared that the casualties of the War have been exaggerated. He reported there were Between and according to figures obtained by the jordanian Public health ministry the armed forces and the International red Cross committee in Amman. Previous jordanian reports spoke of dead and thou Sands wounded. Guerrilla leaders issued even larger totals. An egyptian spokesman in Cairo said persons were killed in the Amman Street fighting and in the refugee Camps outside the City. Wounded were placed in the tens of Hussein reported he had the situation in Amman under control but there was a dras tic need for food. International red Cross planes began flying in food and taking wounded and other refugees to Beirut. But tens of thou Sands were reported starving and in need of medical assist Ance. The situation in the Middle East was so tense during the past week the United states was making open plans to intervene to Rescue the 400 americans in Jordan if Neces sary. Paratroops marines and airborne infantrymen were still in a state of Alert. There had been reports is Rael planned to move in today. Tanks were massed near the Border and the London daily express said a dispatch Quot ing diplomatic sources that is Rael had begun mobilizing reservists and had placed its air Force on Alert. Asked police to guard an area on the West Side of upper fish ranch Road a Brushy area near grizzly Peak Boulevard. I m almost be said when a newsman asked if the fire was deliberately set. In the confusion of shifting skipping hot spots throughout the endangered area one fire truck from the state division of forestry was trapped and destroyed. A Tribune reporter was Cut off from his car by flames but later got it out undamaged and a reporter photographer team from the Tribune anxiously changed a Flat tire and then found their car s Battery was dead while underbrush burst into flame around them. Radio station Kufa went off the a when the fire knocked out their transmitter above grizzly Peak Boulevard and nearly trapped chief Engi Neer George Craig who tried to fight the flames until he was almost trapped. The Sta Tion later operated with an auxiliary Generator providing Power. Amazingly no serious injuries were reported despite such near misses. But a dozen firemen were treated for injuries. The 400 uniformed firemen were augmented by an Esti mated 250 volunteers including police newsmen and Blue Collar workers who left their jobs to help. Even so three suspected looters were arrested by police who set up motorcycle roadblocks to keep nonresidents out of the area. The California disaster of fice said it was the worst Bay area fire since the massive Berkeley fire of 47 years ago and a spokesman for the Oak land department said the assistance Effort was the big Gest joint operation of this kind that we can recall in this by 4 . The warm East wind had largely died Down Hayward employees on strike Hayward in Defiance of an Lith hour court order City of Hayward Public works employees went on strike today at . Dean Mckinley Field representative of local 390 of the United Public employees Union said picket lines were set up at City Hall the sewage treatment Plant the City water Plant City corporation Yard and Airport. The approximate 120 strikers include men who operate sewage and water treatment plants Road Crews Street sweepers and other Public works employees. Supervisory personnel Are staffing the water distribution Plant sewage treatment operations and Hayward air terminal facilities where pick ets also have been placed. A temporary restraining or Der seeking to Block the strike was signed yesterday by Ala Meda county Superior court judge Robert l. Bostick. The judge ordered any strike or slowdown be deferred until a further hearing set for oct. 5. City manager Raymond e. Doran warned the strike might Force the closing of the City Airport and could cause a major disruption at the sew age treatment Plant. Rank and file members of the Union met last night and voted 80 to 7 to reject the City s final offer said Mckin Ley. Sanction for a strike had already been granted by the Alameda Central labor coun cil. A Marathon negotiating ses Sion was held until Early to Day by Union negotiators City officials and state conciliator James Marshall in an unsuccessful attempt to Iron out differences in wage demands and other benefits sought by the workers. The City has offered local 390 workers a 5 per cent salary increase effective oct. 1, with an anticipated 2vt per cent increase next april 1. The City Council also agreed to provide changes in More than a dozen fringe benefits. Union representatives Are de manding full arbitration on All grievances which the City has objected to under provisions of the City charter. All City employee organizations would have to be allowed arbitration. The City has indicated a willingness to a partial arbitration of specific issues. City police and fire unions and the Hayward City employees association represent ing some 600 workers have agreed to new contracts and Are not involved in the strike. University botanical gardens Imp my shaded area shows extent of fire in Hills and the fire was mostly contained although firemen continued putting out Small fires and soaking Down hot spots All night. Residents credited the Low flying chemical bombers including a world War ii Vintage b-17 flying fortress that swooped through the rav Ines like a Piper cub with saving Many of the Homes. Superior court judge Lionel j. Wilson who twice interrupted trials to Check on the status of his Home on Buckingham drive feared the House was a total loss. Finally however he got through to the scene in a police car and discovered it had been saved by College student Michael Harrison hired by the judge for Garden work. The youth played a Garden Hose Over the House As flames approached limiting damage to the destruction of half a 100-foot length of eight foot Fence at the rear of the prop mrs. Jack Good wife of a retired Oakland policeman also sprayed a Garden Hose on her Home at 7065 Marlborough Terrace but the House was a total loss. Mrs. Concetta Jorgensen 7144 Malborough Terrace was baking Rose Beauty she said she saw the fire. She grabbed the three of her four children not in school and we left when the flames were beating on the but the House survived with Only charring on one Side. Mrs. Madeleine Barnett was alerted to leave her rented Home at 7074 Marlborough Terrace by mrs. Jorgensen. Mrs. Barnett whose husband Joseph is director of equal employment Opportunity for the port of Oakland managed to Tell him of the fire by phone before the lines burned Down. Barnett raced Home to find it burning. Flames came out of nowhere from he said. The whole area was engulfed in flames so we just got the hell out of they lost All their posses Sions except for some rings mrs. Barnett was wearing. The last measurable rain fell in the area on june 9, weather Bureau records show. The stiff breezes carried the smoke pall out Over the Bay where it flattened and spread Over much of the Region. At Nightfall floating serenely Over East Oakland the Goodyear Blimp flashed the lighted message it has been delivering to residents on re cent evenings help prevent Forest All around him the Homes burned continued from Page 1 Only rubble and a fireplace remained. The smoke was so dense Over Marlborough Terrace a Short Street that runs Uphill to grizzly Peak Boulevard that i could not see clearly what was happening there. Firemen sprawled on the pavement holding kicking hoses As they sprayed water on the engulf ing flames. Ashes burned branches and downed Tele phone and Power lines Cov ered the Street. It looked like a disaster area. Later i Learned that it was. Every Home on the Down slope except for one was to tally destroyed. Somehow the Home of Eric Jorgensen an Oakland attorney remained intact but with severe dam age to one Wall and the roof. Along Norfolk Road and Strat Moor drive there was bedlam. Fire trucks were everywhere and hoses criss crossed the Street. Homeowners were carrying out their pets and a few precious Pas sessions and loading them into cars then sending their wives away with them. Others stood on the roof of their Homes wetting Down the shingles and surrounding Trees with Garden hoses. San Francisco attorney Fred Howe of 7124 Norfolk Road successfully fought off the flames. So did Berkeley Clothier Don Herget of 85 Strat Moor drive and artist Elmer Bischoff his next door neighbor. Others were not As Lucky. A Home at 7107 Norfolk Road seemed perfectly Safe. But then a Small fire started below it. It burned slowly then swiftly As winds whipped it Uphill. Before a fireman could reach the scene it had leaped into a stand of Small eucalyptus Trees beside the House and then to the House itself. The entire Structure was burning in an incredibly Short time. The a d j o i n i n g House seemed doomed also. But the owner refused to give up. He stood atop his roof for what must have seemed hours to him spraying water from a Garden Hose onto the flames. He was covered with wet rags and firemen periodically hosed him Down to keep him Cool. The Battle seemed Hope less. The heat was terrifyingly intense. But somehow that desperate coterie of men firemen the Homeowner and half a dozen volunteers managed to beat Back the flames and save the Home. Swarms of teen agers and College kids beards shaggy locks and All were in the area helping immeasurably. They grabbed heavy hoses and helped firemen lug them up and Down the Steep slopes. They carried dogs cats and canaries ant to waiting cars. Many had brought shovels and they spread out below and above the houses digging fire Breaks and slashing away at burning Brush. Two girls car ried water soaked towels to help protect persons fighting the Blaze. One youth grabbed a Hose and extinguished a Flash fire in a Volkswagen be fore any major damage was done. Another huddled in Poi son Oak with a fireman below the Home of artist Felix Ruvolo. It was a hot dangerous spot but they staved off the flames until a borate bomber splashed a Load of chemicals along the Hillside and finished the Job. Later the residents were unanimous in praising them. When i left the area i was convinced my Home at 114 Strat Moor drive was lost. Flames were beating at my backyard Fence threatening to engulf the Pine and eucalyptus Trees that add so much to the Beauty of the area. I grabbed All the photos and color slides i could carry plus some vital papers and fled. Hours later i returned to a devastated area but my House was intact. So were those of my closest neighbors. But a Hundred Yards to the East there was devastation. Devon Way was v i r t u a 11 y wiped out. Nearly All of a Borough Terrace was gone. Below it i could see burned out Homes along Westmore land drive. I looked up the Hill toward Vic Gasman s Home a land Mark Structure in the area built on a Knoll off grizzly Peak. The neighbourhood baby sitting Pool used to dirty there once a year working out wrinkles in the operation while enjoying his sweeping View of the Bay. I saw a fire place nothing More. The Green of our Hills was gone replaced by the Gray of ashes. A few fire blackened Pines stood grotesquely on the slopes. As night fell tiny Fin Gers of flame flickered in the darkness of the Valley the last embers of a holocaust we shall not soon forget. Six ton prisoner out after 29-year lockup Chicago a Ziggy went for a stroll in the fresh air today his first outdoor walk in 29 years. The six ton elephant which had attacked a Trainer in 1939, has been chained to an indoor House at Brookfield zoo since 1941. He did t react immediately today when he saw the Back door to his stall open. After said or. Peter Crowcroft zoo director it s been a Long time since that door was opened. He investigated the doorway for some time then sniffed the finally we coaxed him out with some he said. Ziggy remained outdoors about 90 minutes then voluntarily went Back inside. One of the persons coaxing Ziggy was George Lewis of Seattle the Man attacked by the elephant at a Portland ore., circus in 1939. Lewis visited Ziggy last year and zoo officials asked him to return for Ziggy s com ing out party because they said Lewis was the Only Man whose orders brought any response from the 52-year-old elephant. Ziggy was kept on the 50-foot Chain Crowcroft said As he ambled about the Yard. Crowcroft is hopeful that a permanent enclosure will be built at the zoo so Ziggy can go outside when he pleases. Lewis 59, now a supervisor with the humane society in Seattle did not think Ziggy would act up again. He visited the elephant at Brookfield zoo last july and said the Bull remembered him. They never Lew saaid

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