At about 2:45 a.m., the Alameda County Fire Department and City of Oakland Fire Department responded to a report of a fire at “The Intersection,” a 105-unit apartment complex that was being built on the 3800 block of San Pablo Avenue near MacArthur Boulevard. Upon arrival firefighters found the upper floors of an unfinished five-story housing and retail complex on fire. The fire quickly escalated to six-alarms (18 engines, 6 trucks, rescue and chiefs) as approximately 100 firefighters employed a defensive strategy to protect surrounding buildings as floating embers spread several blocks.
The fire destroyed the unfinished 105-unit apartment building, which was being built by Holliday Development. The fire extended to James Auto Repair, located at 1047 39th Street destroying the shop and multiple vehicles. Five townhouses on Apgar that are part of the City Crossing development had damage ranging from significant to moderate. Ten townhouses are uninhabitable this evening and all tenants have found alternate housing. A construction crane, owned by Bigge Crane & Rigging, also appeared to be damaged, initial arriving fire crews were concerned about its stability. The crane sustained damage and will be disassembled tonight.
Residents that were evacuated as a precaution were taken to the Emeryville Senior Center on Salem Street where Red Cross was to assist them. The ACFD doesn’t have an exact count of those displaced, but believes the number to be about fifty.
Firefighters from the Alameda County Fire Department, City of Oakland, City of Alameda, City of Albany, City of Berkeley, City of Fremont, City of Hayward, City of Piedmont and the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Departments responded. Firefighters also were aided by an Alameda County Sheriff's Office drone that provided an aerial view so firefighters could detect hot spots.
Investigators have not determined the cause of the fire. Alameda County fire investigators have been joined by investigators from the County Task Force and Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) investigators. The investigation is expected to take several days with the full ATF team arriving on Friday.
During the fire authorities closed San Pablo Avenue and Adeline Street between 36th and 40th streets. West MacArthur Boulevard from Emery to Market streets also was closed, as was Apgar Street from Market to West MacArthur Boulevard; 39th Street from Market to Adeline streets and Yerba Buena from 40th Street to Adeline Street. Street closures remain in place on West MacArthur, Apgar and 39th Street.