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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "fox-news/us/disasters/fires"

Bankruptcy judge approves $105M PG&E fund to help wildfire survivors

A federal judge on Wednesday approved a plan for the Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. (PG&E) to establish a $105 million relief fund to assist those who lost property during recent California wildfires caused by its power lines.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali called the fund — it was created by the utility — an “appropriate remedy.” He said he couldn’t impose a higher amount under current law and wanted an independent party named in five days to administer the program.

Westlake Legal Group AP19142774055361 Bankruptcy judge approves $105M PG&E fund to help wildfire survivors Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/us/disasters/aftermath fox news fnc/us fnc article 5403a83b-a503-512c-9064-a154988be7e4

In 2017, PG&E crews work on restoring power lines in a fire-ravaged neighborhood in an aerial view in the aftermath of a wildfire in Santa Rosa, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

“We are ready, willing and anxious to fund the $105 million,” Stephen Karotkin, an attorney for PG&E, told Montali.

Lawyers for some survivors argued that the utility could pay up to $250 million to help their clients. They pointed out that the utility sought last month to pay employees $235 million in bonuses.

WHAT MAKES A CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE THE WORST? DEATHS AND SIZE

The fund will help those who are uninsured, need help with housing costs or have other needs. PG&E will draw the $105 million from its cash reserves, with administrative costs capped at $5 million. The utility said it would not increase rates to pay for the program.

The agreement comes a week after California fire investigators determined that PG&E power lines started the Nov. 8 Camp Fire, a blaze that killed 85 people and decimated the town of Paradise. It burned 153,336 acres and destroyed in excess of 18,000 structures.

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES: SEEKING SOLUTIONS TO A WICKED PROBLEM

“The tinder-dry vegetation and Red Flag conditions consisting of strong winds, low humidity and warm temperatures promoted this fire and caused extreme rates of spread, rapidly burning into Pulga to the east and west into Concow, Paradise, Magalia and the outskirts of east Chico,” the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said of its findings.

PG&E filed for bankruptcy protection in January in the midst of multiple lawsuits in the billions of dollars.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Montali gave the utility four months to file a plan to emerge from bankruptcy, not the six months it had requested.

Westlake Legal Group AP19142774055361 Bankruptcy judge approves $105M PG&E fund to help wildfire survivors Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/us/disasters/aftermath fox news fnc/us fnc article 5403a83b-a503-512c-9064-a154988be7e4   Westlake Legal Group AP19142774055361 Bankruptcy judge approves $105M PG&E fund to help wildfire survivors Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/us/disasters/aftermath fox news fnc/us fnc article 5403a83b-a503-512c-9064-a154988be7e4

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Chemical plant fire closes Pulaski Skyway near New York City: reports

Traffic on a major roadway near New York City was closed in both directions Friday night after a fire at a chlorine plant in New Jersey sent a huge plume of dark smoke into the sky.

It happened near the Pulaski Skyway, the large elevated span that connects Newark and Jersey City, the two largest cities in New Jersey.

Residents in the surrounding area were being warned about “dangerous fumes” resulting from the blaze, which occurred in Kearny, a town located between the two cities, News 12 New Jersey reported.

Public safety officials in Newark were warning residents “to keep windows and doors shut and stay inside.”

Environmental officials across the Hudson River in New New York City were also warning residents about smoke, in a Twitter message posted shortly before 11 p.m.

Westlake Legal Group PULASKI-SKYWAY-NJ-GETTY-THUMB Chemical plant fire closes Pulaski Skyway near New York City: reports fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-york-city fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 8aa756fe-1dfc-5b9e-874f-a7f385f119f4

The Pulaski Skyway is seen in Jersey City, N.J., on June 25, 2014. (Getty Images)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The plant was identified as Alden Leads, and is located almost directly beneath the skyway, NJ.com reported.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Westlake Legal Group PULASKI-SKYWAY-NJ-GETTY-THUMB Chemical plant fire closes Pulaski Skyway near New York City: reports fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-york-city fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 8aa756fe-1dfc-5b9e-874f-a7f385f119f4   Westlake Legal Group PULASKI-SKYWAY-NJ-GETTY-THUMB Chemical plant fire closes Pulaski Skyway near New York City: reports fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-york-city fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 8aa756fe-1dfc-5b9e-874f-a7f385f119f4

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12 exposed to debris, pilot safe after F-16 hits warehouse

Westlake Legal Group og-fox-news 12 exposed to debris, pilot safe after F-16 hits warehouse RIVERSIDE, Calif. fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox-news/us/disasters/fires fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 174b301c-e52c-51ee-b3d4-6ada81a056bd

A warehouse worker said he heard the deafening noise of an F-16 jet moments before it smashed through the roof of the building near a Southern California air base.

“Next thing I know I just hear this explosion and turn around to the back of the building, and I just seen a burst of flames and just the ceiling started falling through every part of the building,” Daniel Gallegos told KABC-TV. “I turned around, and my co-worker just told me to get out, so I just made a run for it.”

The pilot ejected and parachuted to safety before the Air National Guard fighter plane hit the warehouse in an industrial area across the freeway from March Reserve Air Base on Thursday afternoon.

He was taken to a hospital for evaluation. In total, a dozen people were hosed off for exposure to debris before being taken to hospitals for evaluation and treatment of minor injuries, state fire Capt. Fernando Herrera said.

The crash started a small fire that was quickly doused by the building’s sprinklers, Herrera said.

Gallegos said he believed a co-worker was struck by something, possibly a falling sprinkler. Herrera said there were no major injuries.

Television news showed a large hole in the roof and sprinklers on inside the building about 65 miles (105 kilometers) east of Los Angeles.

Cellphone photos and video from inside showed what appeared to be the tail of the plane buried in twisted metal and piles of cardboard boxes.

A large area around the warehouse was evacuated and nearby Interstate 215, which runs between the base and warehouse, was shut down until crews could render the jet’s weaponry and ordnance safe.

“As long as the aircraft is here, we are considering it a viable and dangerous area and we’re taking the precautions necessary,” Herrera said late Thursday night.

The air base commander, Col. Melissa Coburn, declined to describe the aircraft’s armament.

The crash happened during a training mission, March Air Reserve Base Deputy Fire Chief Timothy Holliday said.

“The pilot was having hydraulic problems,” Holliday said. “He started losing control of the aircraft.”

The jet’s cockpit canopy was on a runway, and a parachute had settled in a nearby field.

The jet didn’t cause a major fire or explosion, which was “a miracle,” Holliday said.

The F-16 was on a training mission under the direction of the North American Aerospace Defense Command. The pilot is from the 144th Fighter Wing, an Air National Guard unit based in Fresno, and the F-16 belongs to the South Dakota Air National Guard in Sioux Falls.

The base is home to the Air Force Reserve Command’s Fourth Air Force Headquarters and various units of the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, California Air National Guard and California Army National Guard.

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Oklahoma mom gets life in prison for attacking daughter

Westlake Legal Group og-fox-news Oklahoma mom gets life in prison for attacking daughter Tulsa (Okla) fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 4cdd1d4f-fb5b-501f-89df-5a9829bbc748

An Oklahoma woman accused of stabbing her 11-year-old daughter 50 to 70 times, hitting her in the head with an ax and then setting their home on fire has been sentenced to life in prison.

A Tulsa County Judge handed the sentence Thursday to 40-year-old Taheerah Ahmad, who pleaded guilty last month to two counts of child neglect and one count each of first-degree arson and assault and battery. Her daughter survived and authorities say she has recovered from her injuries.

Ahmad was arrested last May after authorities said she attacked the girl and bound and gagged two younger daughters, who escaped and were found unharmed.

An arrest report said Ahmad told investigators she was upset with her children “because of the way they were reading and looking at her.”

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Authorities say victim in Tennessee killings was decapitated

Westlake Legal Group authorities-say-victim-in-tennessee-killings-was-decapitated Authorities say victim in Tennessee killings was decapitated JONATHAN MATTISE and TRAVIS LOLLER fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 67c06360-0e91-595f-b341-601a913eb618

Authorities revealed Friday that there was an eighth victim in a mass killing last month in rural Tennessee and his head was found 25 yards from his body.

Seven warrants were filed Thursday and Friday on first-degree murder charges against 25-year-old Michael Cummins, who has a criminal record and a history of court-ordered mental illness evaluation. A criminal homicide warrant was filed earlier.

According to the newest affidavit, an officer was dispatched to investigate a fire and a missing resident on April 17, 10 days before the discovery of the other bodies. The officer found Jim Dunn’s headless body about 75 yards away from a burned cabin. His head was about 25 yards away from his body, it says.

Cummins was later seen with a rifle that looked like one of Dunn’s that had gone missing, and on April 27, authorities discovered Dunn’s missing rifle at a home where six of the bodies were found, including Cummins’ parents, it says.

Footprints in blood found inside that home matched a pair of girl’s shoes that Cummins admitted to wearing and leaving at his uncle’s trailer, the affidavit says.

The eight victims died from blunt force head injuries, the affidavit states. The youngest was a 12-year-old girl.

Another person was injured but alive. Cummins is charged with criminal attempt to commit first-degree murder in that case.

Once the bodies were found, Cummins fled into the woods the night of April 27, and was shot and wounded by law enforcement officers after brandishing a hatchet, another affidavit says. He also had stolen the car belonging to one of the victims and abandoned it in a creek bed, according to court records.

Cummins was arrested and hospitalized. He was released from the hospital Friday and charged. He is being held in the Tennessee Department of Corrections Special Needs Unit, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

He had been within days of being arrested for probation violations when the bodies were discovered April 27 at two of the Sumner County homes.

Cummins, 25, had been on probation after serving just 16 months of a 10-year sentence for attempting to burn down a neighbor’s house in September 2017 and assaulting her when she tried to put out the fire.

He was released on probation in January, but his probation officer had been preparing an arrest warrant for probation violations, Sumner District Attorney Ray Whitley has said.

Cummins violated a no-contact order with the neighbor whose home he tried to burn and failed to get a required mental health evaluation, a previous affidavit says.

Cummins faced a string of charges beginning in February 2017 with the theft of a neighbor’s turkey and game camera, court records show. In April, he was sentenced to probation and ordered to seek mental health treatment, but less than a month later he assaulted his grandmother while stealing his mother’s purse, the records show.

Back in court in August, he was again given probation and this time ordered to attend a domestic violence classes. It was just the next month that he tried to burn down his neighbor’s mobile home by stuffing garbage between the insulation and the floorboards and setting it on fire.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-811c08410d3b470bb110bb397d613c87 Authorities say victim in Tennessee killings was decapitated JONATHAN MATTISE and TRAVIS LOLLER fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 67c06360-0e91-595f-b341-601a913eb618   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-811c08410d3b470bb110bb397d613c87 Authorities say victim in Tennessee killings was decapitated JONATHAN MATTISE and TRAVIS LOLLER fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 67c06360-0e91-595f-b341-601a913eb618

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Fire engulfs HBO miniseries set in upstate New York

Westlake Legal Group fire-engulfs-hbo-miniseries-set-in-upstate-new-york Fire engulfs HBO miniseries set in upstate New York Jessica Sager fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 1b359160-84ad-59fa-b8a7-dc22cad53403

A massive fire engulfed the set of an HBO miniseries being filmed in Ulster County, New York.

The three-alarm blaze broke out at 613 Automotive Group in Ellenville, N.Y., at approximately 1 a.m. on Thursday, the Hudson Valley Post reported. Odom.TV captured video of the fire.

“I Know This Much Is True,” starring Mark Ruffalo and Melissa Leo, was using the car dealership as a set.

Westlake Legal Group Hudson-Valley-Fire-OdomTV3 Fire engulfs HBO miniseries set in upstate New York Jessica Sager fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 1b359160-84ad-59fa-b8a7-dc22cad53403

A fire broke out at a Hudson Valley, N.Y., car dealership on Thursday morning. HBO is filming miniseries “I Know This Much Is True” at the dealership. (Odom.TV)

MARK RUFFALO, MICHAEL MOORE STRATEGIZING FOR 2020 ‘BLUE DELUGE’

No injuries have been reported, but several antique cars may have been damaged in the fire.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

Westlake Legal Group mark-ruffalo-speaking Fire engulfs HBO miniseries set in upstate New York Jessica Sager fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 1b359160-84ad-59fa-b8a7-dc22cad53403

“Avengers: Endgame” star Mark Ruffalo serves as an executive producer and star of upcoming HBO series “I Know This Much Is True.” A massive fire broke out on the upstate New York set of the show. (Getty)

Avengers” star Ruffalo, who lives in the area, is an executive producer on the project and stars as twin brothers in the upcoming series, which is set for a 2020 air date.

Melissa Leo, Juliette Lewis and Rosie O’Donnell are also slated to appear in the drama, based on a novel by Wally Lamb.

Westlake Legal Group Hudson-Valley-Fire-OdomTV2 Fire engulfs HBO miniseries set in upstate New York Jessica Sager fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 1b359160-84ad-59fa-b8a7-dc22cad53403

A fire broke out at a Hudson Valley, N.Y., car dealership on Thursday morning. HBO is filming miniseries “I Know This Much Is True” at the dealership. (Odom.TV)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Reps for Ruffalo and HBO did not immediately return Fox News’ requests for comment.

Westlake Legal Group Hudson-Valley-Fire-OdomTV3 Fire engulfs HBO miniseries set in upstate New York Jessica Sager fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 1b359160-84ad-59fa-b8a7-dc22cad53403   Westlake Legal Group Hudson-Valley-Fire-OdomTV3 Fire engulfs HBO miniseries set in upstate New York Jessica Sager fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 1b359160-84ad-59fa-b8a7-dc22cad53403

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Key witness in Oakland’s ‘Ghost Ship’ fire trial dies before he’s able to testify

Westlake Legal Group key-witness-in-oaklands-ghost-ship-fire-trial-dies-before-hes-able-to-testify Key witness in Oakland's 'Ghost Ship' fire trial dies before he's able to testify fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace article ac568a68-949f-5a24-ae02-240bc99d0339

A man scheduled to testify this week as a witness in the “Ghost Ship” trial — involving a fire at a Northern California warehouse that killed 36 partygoers — has died before he was able to take the stand.

Robert Jacobitz died Sunday after collapsing in a parking lot in San Pablo, Calif., the East Bay Times reported. Police said they do not suspect foul play, as the man had suffered from extensive health problems.

Alameda County prosecutors had planned to call Jacobitz to testify this week in the trial of Derick Almena and Max Harris, who are each charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the Dec. 2, 2016, fire in an Oakland art collective warehouse known as the Ghost Ship. The fire erupted during an unpermitted music concert.

NEW YORK CITY APARTMENT FIRE KILLS 6, INCLUDING 4 CHILDREN

Officers responded to the parking lot Sunday around 2:40 p.m. where they found Jacobitz unconscious. Emergency workers tried to resuscitate him for 30 minutes before pronouncing him dead.

Prosecutors announced the death of their key witness in court on Monday, saying the man had died from “an accident.” Police spokesman Capt. Brian Bubar told the East Bay Times that news reports claiming Jacobitz died in a car crash were not accurate.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-222bc87ac6314ad1b3b66f7dd1a3e8e1 Key witness in Oakland's 'Ghost Ship' fire trial dies before he's able to testify fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace article ac568a68-949f-5a24-ae02-240bc99d0339

Max Harris, left, and Derick Almena, each face 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the Dec. 2, 2016, “Ghost Ship” fire in Oakland, Calif. (Alameda County Sheriff’s Office)

“All I can say about it at this point is that we responded to no other fatal incidents that day,” Bubar said, adding that “there is nothing suspicious” about Jacobitz’s death.

Alameda County deputy district attorney Casey Bates told jurors last week that Jacobitz was an unlicensed contractor who performed inexpensive work at the warehouse soon after Almena rented it in November 2013.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP 

Prosecutors allege that Almena, 49, stuffed the space full of highly flammable furniture, pianos and other material and failed to provide smoke detectors, fire alarms, sprinklers and other required safety equipment. Prosecutors say Harris, 29, helped Almena convert the warehouse, collect rent and schedule concerts.

Bates said during opening statements last week that Almena turned to Jacobitz for inexpensive help with the warehouse’s conversion after another contractor told Almena it would cost at least $5,000 to install a fire door and new stairs to the second floor.

Prosecutors have also said Jacobitz performed electrical work at the warehouse. Investigators looked closely at the warehouse’s electrical system before concluding the cause of the fire could not be determined.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group ghost-ship-fire Key witness in Oakland's 'Ghost Ship' fire trial dies before he's able to testify fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace article ac568a68-949f-5a24-ae02-240bc99d0339   Westlake Legal Group ghost-ship-fire Key witness in Oakland's 'Ghost Ship' fire trial dies before he's able to testify fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace article ac568a68-949f-5a24-ae02-240bc99d0339

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New York City apartment fire kills 6, including 4 children

Westlake Legal Group new-york-city-apartment-fire-kills-6-including-4-children New York City apartment fire kills 6, including 4 children fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-york-city fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace bf5c6d99-fff2-5d87-90fd-ba96cd4a2d0c article
Westlake Legal Group d917c2a2-harlem-fire New York City apartment fire kills 6, including 4 children fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-york-city fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace bf5c6d99-fff2-5d87-90fd-ba96cd4a2d0c article

Six people, including four children, died early Wednesday after a fast-moving fire ripped through an affordable housing apartment building in New York City‘s Harlem neighborhood, police and fire officials said.

Emergency officials responded around 1:40 a.m. to the Fred Samuels Houses, a New York City Housing Authority building in upper Manhattan, after flames broke out on the fifth floor of the seven-story structure, the New York Post eported.

NEW YORK CITY BUILDING COLLAPSES AFTER CAR PLOWS INTO IT

“As soon as I saw the flames it was literally in one apartment. They were as vibrant and destructive as possible. It wasn’t pretty. I heard glass breaking, kids yelling,” Abdul Salaam, 25, said. He said he noticed the blaze from the street and called 9-1-1.

“As the fire is spreading I heard actual voices screaming,” he told the Post. “They were clearly in fear for their lives.”

A man, woman, two girls, and two boys, all believed to be family members, were pronounced dead at the scene, police said. FDNY discovered the bodies after firefighters extinguished the flames and cleared residents from the building.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Police said the fire appeared to be an accident. Investigators were looking into the cause of the fire.

Westlake Legal Group d917c2a2-harlem-fire New York City apartment fire kills 6, including 4 children fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-york-city fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace bf5c6d99-fff2-5d87-90fd-ba96cd4a2d0c article   Westlake Legal Group d917c2a2-harlem-fire New York City apartment fire kills 6, including 4 children fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-york-city fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace bf5c6d99-fff2-5d87-90fd-ba96cd4a2d0c article

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Witness dies before testifying in fatal warehouse fire trial

Westlake Legal Group witness-dies-before-testifying-in-fatal-warehouse-fire-trial Witness dies before testifying in fatal warehouse fire trial Oakland (Calif) fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 54b9e231-6744-532a-b1e4-78cf0f7c5208
Westlake Legal Group og-fox-news Witness dies before testifying in fatal warehouse fire trial Oakland (Calif) fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 54b9e231-6744-532a-b1e4-78cf0f7c5208

A key witness scheduled to testify this week in the involuntary manslaughter trial involving a Northern California warehouse fire that killed 36 people has died in a car crash.

Alameda County prosecutors told a judge Monday that Robert Jacobitz was killed over the weekend. Prosecutors say Jacobitz was hired as an unlicensed contractor to do inexpensive wiring at the Oakland warehouse three years before a fire erupted in the illegally converted building in December 2016.

Investigators looked closely at the warehouse’s electrical system before concluding the cause of the fire could not be determined.

Testimony in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Derick Almena and Max Harris started Monday in Oakland. Each faces 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Prosecutors say they turned the warehouse into an unsafe entertainment venue and residence.

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Mike Pence to visit heads of burned black Louisiana churches

Westlake Legal Group og-fox-news Mike Pence to visit heads of burned black Louisiana churches OPELOUSAS, La. fox-news/us/disasters/fires fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 400dbd03-e1ad-59a4-b7e6-e3c9adfcff4b

Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to visit with community and faith leaders near Opelousas, Louisiana, where three black churches were destroyed by an arsonist.

News outlets report the White House says Pence will tour the remains of one of the churches on Friday and meet with Republican U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy. The Rev. Gerald Toussaint says he and reverends from the other burned churches will also be meeting with the vice president.

A local sheriff’s deputy’s 21-year-old son, Holden Matthews, has been charged in the March and April burnings with offenses including arson. He’s pleaded not guilty and is set to appear in court Thursday for a bond hearing.

A crowdfunding campaign for the churches’ restoration has raised more than $2.1 million.

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