Oakland fire: Four-alarm blaze at downtown construction site

Posted July 09, 2017

Firefighters in Oakland, Calif., spent Friday morning battling a massive four-alarm blaze at an apartment building under construction. Due to continued Fire Department activity in the area, some structures are still off limits. The crane is now spinning from the heat.

Oakland Fire Battalion Chief Erik Logan says traffic and residents are temporarily blocked from the area as a precaution.

Christien Kafton, a reporter for KTVU Channel 2 News, also tweeted video of the raging fire. The seven-story project began construction a year ago.

The building was created to include apartments and retail space.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Some have suggested those fires were started by arsonists angry about gentrification in Oakland's East Bay, where rising rents and hope prices have pushed out some longtime residents. Smoke was visible from several miles away; ABC7 reports that ash and embers landed on cars on the other side of Lake Merritt. By 8:30 a.m., the fire was 85% contained, according to White.

Firefighters are pouring numerous streams of water onto the blaze, which broke out in the 7-story building before dawn Friday at 24th and Valdez streets. An evacuation center has been set up at the Cathedral of Christ the Light at 2121 Harrison Street.

A large crane in the middle of the site has been swinging around amid the flames.