San Leandro, CA Plane Crashes Into House, Mar 1933



Two Other Dwellings Fired By Blast From Wrecked Ship; Six Members Of Family, Four Guests, Pilot And Two Passengers Victims.

(By The United Press)
San Leandro, March 25 -- Thirteen persons were burned to death here to-night when a Varney Speed Lines plane, caught in a heavy rainstorm, crashed into a house and exploded.
Fear that the death toll would be raised was dispelled when authorities reported a woman and her two children reported missing were located but were injured.
They were members of the family of JOE RICCA, who was badly burned in his home, one of three which were set aflame by the explosion.
The dead included the plane pilot, two passengers and ten persons who were in the house.
List of Dead.
They were:
NOEL B. (JACK) EVANS, pilot, 736 Lincoln Avenue, Alameda.
HERMAN BROWN, passenger, 1051 North Orlando, Hollywood.
MISS LA VELE MILLER, 664 North Van Ness Avenue, Los Angeles.
MR. and MRS. JOE AVISA, residents of the ill-fated house.
JUANITA AVISA, 1 1/2, a daughter.
MICHAEL, 4, a son.
ANNA, 10, a daughter.
JOE, 6, a son.
FLORES FUENTES, 17, 1321 145th Avenue.
Was Nearing Port.
The SERRANO brothers, SONTO and the other victim were said to have been guests in the AVISA home, a small structure on Washington Boulevard, San Leandro, a suburban community fifteen miles from Oakland airport, where the plane was to have landed after a flight from Los Angeles.
The explosion fired two houses in addition to the AVISA residence. So terrific was the force of the blast that it was heard for several miles around. The resultant fire lighted the rain-soaked skies and drew a huge crowd to the scene.
Ambulances, doctors and the San Leandro fire department pushed through to respond to emergency calls.
Three Others Injured.
Three other persons were hurt, one seriously. Two houses, in addition to AVISA'S home, were burned. The motor of the plane was burned, 100 yards by the explosion.
Witnesses said the the leaden night skies suddenly seemed to be parted by the plane at full speed, its motor roaring. An instant later it crashed through the roof of the AVISA home and an explosion shook the vicinity.
JOE RICCA, said to live next door to the AVISA family, was badly burned when his home was fired. He was reported near death at the Fairmont County Hospital.
Cause Undetermined.
Two other persons, JOE JACKSON, 63, and TONY TEIXEIRA were cut and bruised by flying glass and woodwork when JACKSON'S home, next to AVISA'S, was shattered by the blast. Later it also burned.
Officials of the Varney Lines, with airmen from the Oakland airport, were at a loss to give a cause for the tragedy. Early opinions were that EVANS had been fighting "heavy weather" and lost control of his craft when a scant few miles from his home base at Oakland.

The Fresno Bee Republican California 1933-03-26