A crash involving two big rigs and a third vehicle blocked the westbound lanes of Highway 580 in Pleasanton early Friday, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The crash was reported shortly before 9 a.m. near the Hopyard Road exit, CHP Officer Peter Van Eckhardt said.
One of the big-rigs overturned and its fuel tank ruptured, spilling between 75 to 100 gallons of diesel fuel onto the roadway, Van Eckhardt said.
Ambulances responded to the scene, but Van Eckhardt did not immediately have information about possible injuries caused by the crash.
Caltrans crews were also en route to clean up the fuel spill, according to Van Eckhardt.
He said the far right westbound lane remains open but the other lanes of the highway will likely be closed through the late morning hours.
Van Eckhardt said traffic will be backed up since "alternate routes out there are very hard to come by," with motorists only able to take surface streets around the scene of the crash.
An early Friday morning fire that damaged three Oakland homes was triggered by a family using their stove for heat, authorities said.
Temperatures dipped into the low 30s in Oakland overnight and played a factor in the blaze.
Fire officials said the family that lived in the single-family home was using the stove as a source of heat.
At about 2:40 a.m., firefighters received a report of a fire at a residence located at 90th Avenue and A Street, according to a fire dispatcher said.
“I just woke up to a big noise outside,” said neighbor Cristina Ojea. “When I came outside…Two other homes had caught fire.”
Oakland Fire Battalion Chief Eric Logan said the fire spread quickly inside the home because of its pre-fab construction.
“It’s tough to fight a fire in pre-fab homes,” Logan said. “The floors give out, the fire spreads quickly…We lose critical minutes to fight the fire.”
By 3:30 a.m. firefighters had the blaze under control, but not before it damaged two adjacent homes.
A minivan plowed into the side of a San Rafael elementary school Thursday evening, causing a gas leak and the cancellation of classes on Friday, according to the San Rafael fire chief.
The van hit the side of Laurel Dell Elementary School at 225 Woodland Ave. right at the PG&E service connections for gas and electric at 5:47 p.m., fire Chief Chris Gray said.
The collision caused the gas line to rupture and knocked out electricity in the building. Two people in the van suffered minor injuries, Gray said.
But, given the leaking gas and damaged electric equipment, Gray said that firefighters managed to avert what could have been a much larger catastrophe.
A holiday concert was planned at the school and firefighters helped students move props to a nearby church so that the show could go on.
Three structures burned in a three-alarm fire outside of Santa Rosa Thursday evening, leaving at least three people displaced, a Sonoma County fire dispatcher said.
The fire was reported at 5:30 p.m. in the 400 block of Ward Road on the south end of Santa Rosa, the dispatcher said.
Three different structures burned, including at least one home, and it took firefighters nearly two hours to bring the fire under control.
Seven different fire agencies responded to the blaze.
The fire caused extensive damage to all three structures, leaving at least three adult residents displaced in its wake, the dispatcher said. An ambulance was called for an unspecified injury and that person was treated at the scene.
There were initial reports of power lines coming down in the area, and firefighters are investigating that as a possible cause, the dispatcher said.
The California Highway Patrol closed Santa Rosa Avenue between East Robles Avenue and Bucks Road while firefighters worked to bring the blaze under control.
The handwritten demand note handed to a Seattle bank teller wasn’t typical, investigators said.
“Sorry, but this is a robbery,” the note at the Bank of America said on Dec. 4. “I have a gun. Empty Till Quick & Easily.
“Please. My kids are hungry.”
The man behind the note, Steven Cobbs, Sr., had his hand in his pocket indicating he was armed, police said. He wore a wig, glasses, and a face covering, FBI investigation documents show.
Police believe he bought them from the thrift shop next door to the bank.
But court documents show the suspect has a history of assaults on children – and the bank teller didn’t buy his story.
The teller didn’t comply with the demand, even when Cobbs allegedly told the teller he had a minute to comply. When he didn’t, Cobbs fled without any money.
Seattle police found the wig and face covering in a nearby garbage can. Surveillance video also helped the teller identity Cobbs. When officers found him not far from the bank, they said he was wearing the same clothes as in the surveillance images.
“He said he purchases his disguise at the Value Village store which is next to the banking center,” Detective Len Carver III wrote in a probable cause document. “Cobbs viewed printed surveillance images taken during his robbery attempt and identified himself in them. He signed and dated the images. Cobbs looked at the demand note and identified it, adding that he had written it.”
Court records show Cobb had a violent criminal history – one that includes assaults on children.
In 1998, he was convicted of child rape, and has three convictions for child molestation. Cobbs also has been convicted for hit and run, domestic violence assault, resisting arrest, DUI and other crimes.
If convicted for the current attempted robbery charge, Cobbs, 46, will have his third strike toward life in prison.
His arraignment, where Cobbs is expected to enter a plea, is scheduled for Dec. 23.