200 local firefighters in Big Sur remain on the scene of the Pfeiffer Fire after it was fully contained on Friday. Officials say even though some hot spots still remain, most of the firefighters left town yesterday, leaving clean up efforts to local crews. Pacific Gas and Electric is also ramping up work by restringing power lines to restore power back to the area. At the base of the ridge, highway patrol officers are enforcing road closures. Residents aren’t expected to be allowed back in until tomorrow night. The fire charred roughly 917 acres and destroyed 34 homes.
A family of seven was displaced in Salinas after their home caught fire last night. Crews arrived to the 1600 block of Newport Court just after 8 p.m. to find the fire had started in the home's kitchen on the stove top. Officials say the fire spread to the kitchen cabinets and the home's attic. Firefighters battled the blaze until they had it under control within 15 minutes. The American Red Cross is currently assisting the family. Structural damages were estimated at 25-thousand dollars.
Monterey County fire crews responded to a report of a structure fire in Soledad early Saturday morning. Firefighters arrived at about 2 a.m. to the 600 block of North Street to find a home engulfed in flames. The fire was prevented from spreading to nearby homes and was knocked down in about 30-minutes. No one was injured and officials estimate damages at 80-thousand dollars. Police are calling the fire “arson” and believe it was started in an effort to cover up a burglary. Investigations continue.
A suspect in a Seaside weekend fatal stabbing, confessed committing the crime to police. Officers responded Sunday to an apartment complex on the 900-block of Hilby Avenue at 4:40 p.m., when they found the suspect Etelberto Vasquez-Zapata at the scene. Police say the man confessed to the stabbing after he was identified by multiple witnesses. Vasquez-Zapata was booked into Monterey County jail.
A father and son were arrested in Santa Cruz County last week on attempted murder and weapon possession charges. On Wednesday, police arrested 39-year old John Thomas Jr. after responding to an attempted car jacking just before 7 p.m. on the 100-block of Bixby Street. A 46-year old man and 3 of his family members were parked and about to get out of their car, when Thomas approached them armed with a revolver when he demanded entry into their vehicle. A verbal altercation ensued prior to Thomas pointing the gun at the victim. Thomas was later located on Ocean Street where he was arrested on charges including carjacking, attempted homicide, and felon in possession of a firearm. The next day police arrested Thomas's son 21-year old Brandon Thomas on weapon and gang charges after serving a search warrant at a home on the 300-block of Soquel Avenue.
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