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27-Years Ago Today, Oakland Police Officer John Grubensky and Fire Battalion Chief James Riley Died Trying to Save People from the Great Oakland Hills Firestorm

Today is the 27th anniversary of when Oakland Police Officer John Grubensky and Fire Battalion Chief James Riley Died Trying to Save People from the Great Oakland Hills Firestorm.

1 grubensky and riley

They both died while trying to lead civilians to safety but were overrun by the fast-moving firestorm. Officer Grubensky’s body was found surrounded by the bodies of 5 civilians and Battalion Chief James Riley was found with his body covering the body of a woman he was trying to protect from the monstrous blaze.

The firestorm totally destroyed more than 3,400 homes and apartments during its peak about a house was destroyed every 11 seconds.

Witnesses compared it to the firestorm that destroyed Cologne, Germany, after saturation bombing during World War II.
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Fugitive Watch was founded in 1992 by two San Francisco Bay area police officers, Steve Ferdin and Scott Castruita. Fugitive Watch is a reality-based television show, newspaper and website, fugitive.com. We can also be found on social media such as InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. The mission of Fugitive Watch is to make Your community safer by helping law enforcement fight crime. Fugitive Watch brings the community, local business, and law enforcement together to solve crimes, apprehend wanted fugitives and provide education and crime prevention information to the community.

Business and private sponsorship help Fugitive Watch empower the community to strike back at crime from the safety of their living rooms. Fugitive Watch has been credited by law enforcement with over several 1000 crimes solved or fugitives apprehended. Fugitive Watch also helps improve the safety of police officers by locating fugitives for law enforcement so they can more safely arrest them rather than unexpectedly running across them through extremely dangerous routine “chance encounters”. As law enforcement officers know all too well, These “chance encounters” have resulted in countless officer injuries and deaths.

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