A Hayward woman whose apartment was completely destroyed by an early Tuesday morning fire heard crashing glass moments before a Molotov cocktail ignited a fireball in her living room.
The woman, who asked not to be identified, said she has received threats and then around 4 a.m. heard what sounded to be broken glass.
Hayward fire spokesman LaShon Earnest said the woman saw that there was a roughly 12-inch hole in her front window when she went into her burning living room.
Police and fire investigators have determined the fire was arson after confirming that a Molotov cocktail had been thrown through the window, Earnest said.
Hayward Fire Battalion Chief Kevin Gotro said a 911 call brought firefighters to the apartment complex located at Dixon and Copperfield Road around 4 a.m.
“When we arrived it was fully involved,” he said of the two-story apartment building. “There was heavy fire coming out of the top unit and the bottom unit.”
Fortunately, the woman and her young son and a neighboring family had already fled the fires to safety.
“I heard a loud bang outside,” said neighbor Sam Ward. “I came downstairs and when I got to the front door, the manager of the (neighboring) unit was at her door calling for help. Flames were coming out of her apartment…It looked like hell…Flames were shooting everywhere.”
Gotro said firefighters aggressively attacked the fire and were able to bring it under control within 10 minutes and prevented it from spreading to other units.
The fire caused an estimated $100,000 in damage to the building and destroyed $25,000 in contents, Earnest said.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.