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Oakland business blames city for not getting rid of bus amid fire – NBC Bay Area | #schoolsaftey


An Oakland business is blaming the city for not acting fast enough to get rid of a potential safety hazard in the neighborhood.

The abandoned school bus eventually burst into flames, burning part of the business’ property as well.

A burned bus filled with charred belongings, gas canisters, and melted metal is all that’s left outside Happy Hound as the owner spoke to NBC Bay Area Wednesday.

“The heat actually cracked a few of these boards,” said Suzanne Golter, the owner of Happy Hound.

The doggy daycare is located on Mandela Parkway in Oakland. The business takes care of 150 dogs a day.

Golter told NBC Bay Area that she complained to the city for an entire year, sometimes even daily, about the abandoned bus parked on the side of the street. But she says that nobody ever responded.

“My whole building could’ve gone up in flames and that’s the scary thing about this non-response situation,” she said.

Security video shows the fire starting inside the bus around midnight last Friday. About 20 minutes later, a fire truck arrives. By then, the flames burned through everything on the sidewalk.. Shattered school bus windows and scorched their fence. It’s a blaze Golter said could’ve been avoided.

“I’m fortunate that it wasn’t my building. It was only my fence, but angry at the city too and angry that they haven’t responded to our pleas. It’s not a big ask. The ask is come move the bus because people are lighting fires and grilling and we are a wooden building,” she said.

Golter added when one of her staff members asked the two people who had moved into the bus, to move away from the building, they became confrontational.

“After that, they put a couch up against our fence and that triggered an alarm for us. So, we tried even more dramatically to get a hold of the city and get the trash moved because the safety about the fire went up,” she said.

The bus was removed from the area Wednesday morning but the damage and debris left behind that fire is still here. Golter wants to know who is cleaning up all this mess, as she works to repair her fence

“This is going to affect our insurance, it’s going to take time, it’s going to cost easily thousands of dollars,” she said.

NBC Bay Area reached out to the city of Oakland Wednesday to ask them why the business’s concerns apparently went unanswered, but did not hear back.



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