Boat Burns at Alameda’s Fortman Marina


A houseboat docked in Alameda’s Fortman Marina caught fire shortly after noon today, Wednesday, March 30.

Firefighters were able to contain the blaze and found no one aboard the vessel.

The Alameda Journal/Bay Area News Group reported that the live-aboard boat is about 35 feet long. It was gutted by the blaze, according to Interim Alameda Fire Chief Mike Fisher.

A veteran sailor who witnessed the blaze, said that he heard no explosion before the fire started. Some “popping” noises were heard later, though.

The plume of smoke could be seen around Fortman Marina, nearby Grand Marina, Coast Guard Island and from the other side of the Oakland-Alameda Estuary.

No other boats or structures were affected by the fire.

The burnt houseboat was located close to a covered docking area. “If the boat had been in the covered area, instead of on the downwind side, then the blaze could have spread to other vessels and been much worse,” said the witness, who preferred to remain anonymous. “Fiberglass boats are very flammable.”


(Contributed photos by James Fryer.)


Alameda Day-Care Family in Need after Blaze

Donations are now being accepted for the family of Marfa Lyons, whose child-care center and personal belongings were lost during a blaze last week in the 2400 block of Lincoln Avenue.

Neighbors ask community members to consider making a donation in the form of a gift card from Kohl’s, Target, Safeway or CVS. Such donations can be left at Cliff’s C-5 Volvo repair shop, across the street from the damaged day-care center, at 2429 Lincoln Avenue, .

Also, one elementary school in town and staff at Cliff’s are accepting donations of the following items: women’s clothes (size 24) and shoes (size 10.5), clothes in misses’ size 12 and 7.5 shoes, and clothes in girls’ size 8-10 and shoes (size 1Y-youth).

On a bright note, a group of teachers in Sacramento who read about the blaze online say they are going to send a monetary donation in soon.

Sadly, Lyons, family members and the kids had recently planted a nice garden in front of the day-care center and had re-done the back garden area.


All Kids A-OK After Fire at Alameda Day-Care Center


Staff and kids from Marva’s Happy Town child-care center in the 2400 block of Lincoln Avenue are all safe and sound after a blaze led to center’s evacuation at 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 10.

Seven kids, including one infant, had their afternoon naps interrupted, shared Marva Lyons.

“It’s a good thing we had fire drills!” she said. “It sure helped. Some of the kids were in a deep sleep. But they started running to get their shoes as soon as I woke them up.”

The children, most of whom are toddlers, waited patiently while firemen in five firetrucks arrived to put out the blaze, which started in the attic and spread quickly throughout the home, which houses the day-care center.

The kids spent a few minutes out on the sidewalk watching the action. Then, when the rain started, they moved into the living room of a nearby condo. Neighbors, including staff from Cliff’s Volvo shop across the street, shared blankets, crackers and other items with the kids, before their parents picked them up.

“We’re so grateful to everyone for their help,” Lyons said.


San Bruno Fire Visible from Bay Farm, Crown Beach

The massive fire, apparently caused by a broken natural-gas pipeline in San Bruno at about 6 p.m. Thursday, September 9, was completely visible across the San Francisco Bay in Bay Farm Island and western areas of Alameda in the early evening.

About a dozen Bay Farm residents discussed the cause of the blaze at 6:30 p.m., when there was still suspicion that a plane had crashed in the Peninsula.

Within the first hour of the blaze, a large cloud of smoke had formed, but it was being pushed south by the wind.

Planes could be seen departing out of San Francisco International Airport, as well as from the Oakland International Airport, and the Harbor Bay Ferry was operating.

One San Bruno resident posted a photo on the Bay Area News Group website, and local TV stations are carrying live photage of the fire.

Flames from the fire reportedly been as high as 50-60 feet high, and several homes and cars have been destroyed in the residential area of San Bruno where the inferno is situated.

Firefighters from Alameda County are helping to put out the blaze.