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Massive fire rips through 7-story building under construction in Oakland

A massive fire tore through a construction site of a mixed-use building in Oakland early Friday and triggered evacuations of neighboring homes.

The fast-moving fire ripped through the seven-story building in the area of Valdez and 23rd streets and seared neighboring structures, Acting Fire Chief Darin White with the Oakland Fire Department told reporters.

The four-alarm blaze, which started about 4:30 a.m., sent a tower of flames and smoke into the sky that could be seen for miles, according to local news reports. There was no immediate report of injuries.

Images from live television broadcasts showed firefighters using multiple ladder trucks to attack the blaze near Lake Merritt.

The building is a mixed-use project known as Alta Waverly, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The project was set to include 196 apartments and 31,500 square feet of retail space.

During the firefight, scaffolding along the building and a large crane came perilously close to collapsing on firefighters and residents, White said.

As the crane took on heat, fire officials said, it started spinning.

“That was one of our major concerns in fighting this fire,” Battalion Chief Zoraida Diaz said.

Because the crane and heat from the fire posed a possible safety risk, authorities ordered evacuations for nearby homes and buildings, fire officials said. At least 100 people were temporarily displaced.

As firefighters tackled the flames, Diaz said, a portion of the building collapsed.

The fire’s heat was detected on a weather satellite from space, according to the National Weather Service in San Francisco. The temperature of the fire reached nearly 900 degrees Kelvin, forecasters said.

Fire officials are investigating the cause of the fire.

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UPDATES:

9:45 a.m.: This article was updated with additional details about the fire.

This article was originally published at 6:35 a.m.


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