East Bay News
Elderly woman, son injured in Hayward fire
HAYWARD, Calif. (KGO) -- Firefighters battled two massive fires in Hayward on Saturday. In the first, a man pulled his mother from their burning home. Then just two hours later and about a mile away, a strip mall went up in flames.
"Having two structure fires -- one being a residential and one being a business, is significant," said Hayward Fire Capt. Thor Poulsen.
Firefighters rushed to a home on A Street at 3:45 a.m. Crews found a 60-year-old man who'd run into the burning house to save his 92-year-old mother. Neighbors identified the victims as Laura Flores and her son, Lorenzo Aguiar.
"We saw all of a sudden the flames came out, bursting open the windows," said neighbor Omar Fuentes.
Flores and Aguiar were severely burned. Both of the victims are being treated at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital's burn center. Officials say Flores's chances of survival are slim.
Neighbors expressed disbelief. She was in good condition and was moving, neighbor Domingo Fuentes said. .
Mere hours after the house blaze, about 40 firefighters responded to a fire at a strip mall on Jackson Street. Video taken by the Hayward Fire Department shows crews aggressively attacking the fire from the ground and from up above.
"We certainly don't want it to spread to other buildings and have half the city block catch on fire so number one concern is make sure it stays in place," said Poulsen.
The fire stayed put, destroying a plumbing shop and causing major damage to a nearby store. But three neighboring businesses were spared.
"There's a guardian angel because if that was another material there the whole thing would be gone," said Bob Bradley, whose business was spared.
A solid brick wall blocked the flames and saved the stores. But broken glass and melted power boxes forced everyone to close for the day.
Hayward Fire was able to handle both of the fires but did have to call for mutual aid from the county to man their empty stations while they worked the blazes.
hayward, fire, east bay news, lisa amin gulezian
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