Oakland fire: Four-alarm blaze at downtown construction site

Robyn Ryan
July 9, 2017

Mims said she grabbed her kitten, Kango, and evacuated her building.

The fire began early Friday, forcing the evacuations and sending flames high into the air.

The building was created to include apartments and retail space.

Witnesses reported hearing small explosions coming from within the structure as fire crews worked to contain the flames. 'You have to be careful and get ready to get out.' He called me and said, 'Oh honey, the fire started getting worse and he asked where my passport and papers are.

Investigators with the Alameda County Arson Task Force and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are now looking into the cause of the fire but declined to speculate on what sparked the flames.

Councilman Noel Gallo, who represents East Oakland, told The Chronicle Friday that it was too early to speculate on the cause of the latest fire.

The developer reportedly had a roving security patrol at Alta Waverly, but White was not sure if there was any security footage from the scene.

"Our deepest concern goes out to those impacted by this unfortunate event", said Joe Keough, CEO, Wood Partners.

At least 700 residents were evacuated from buildings near the site and many will spend the night in a nearby emergency shelter near Lake Merritt.

Weeks before the tragedy, Oakland firefighters had urged senior fire officials to consider immediately shutting down the halfway house because of safety problems.

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