July 7, 2017 Update on Fire at 2302 Valdez Street

Date Posted: July 7th, 2017 @ 12:00 AM
Last Updated: October 23rd, 2018 @ 4:55 PM


OAKLAND, CA – A fire was reported this morning at approximately 4:30 a.m. in a building under construction at 2302 Valdez Street. Shortly after the arrival of initial units, crews encountered a rapid change in fire conditions which led to the building becoming fully involved. This and the building scaffolding and crane status led to the decision to immediately evacuate the adjacent buildings and structures. A four-alarm response and mutual aid resources from the Alameda County, Berkeley, and Albany fire departments were requested and arrived swiftly. The fire was brought under control at approximately 7:30 a.m. There were no injuries reported.

There were no injuries reported. The 193-unit project site was being constructed by Wood Partners. Stability of the scaffolding and construction crane at the site are being addressed by the Oakland Fire Department (OFD) and partnering agencies. The focus is on determining a safety plan for the scaffolding and crane that minimizes risk to the surrounding neighborhood, and assisting residents impacted by today’s events.

Emergency Services The Red Cross responded quickly to the scene and set up an emergency evacuation center at the Cathedral of Christ the Light at 2121 Harrison St. That site remained open until 5:00 p.m. today. Beginning at 3:00 p.m. today, an emergency shelter opened at the St. Vincent de Paul Center at the corner of San Pablo and Grand Ave. This location will be used as an overnight shelter for residents who were evacuated and unable to return to their homes, and will be staffed by the Red Cross. Impacted individuals in need of assistance are asked to go directly to the shelter at the St. Vincent de Paul Center. Services at the shelter include food, health services, mental health support, casework, and general support. Businesses that have been impacted are encouraged to contact the Oakland Business Assistance Center at 510-238-7952.

Fire Investigation Many agencies responded to the scene and will be assisting the OFD with aspects of the fire investigation, including the U.S. Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Alameda County Joint Arson Task Force, and Cal-OSHA. Interim Fire Chief Darin White and Mayor Schaaf indicated that an investigation into the cause of the fire is currently underway, and it is too early to speculate regarding the cause of the fire. Investigators are working diligently to obtain and analyze all evidence, including a review of any security camera footage from the area. Individuals with tips or information regarding the fire are asked to contact the tipline at 510-777-3333.

Traffic Due to ongoing emergency operations, traffic flow and parking around the fire scene(the areas bounded by 23rd, Harrison, Waverly and 24th Streets) is limited.

Future Updates Crews will be working over the weekend to ensure safety and restore business and residential access to the area.

There will be a media briefing on Saturday, July 8 regarding the incident and next steps. The time and location of the media briefing will be announced in a media advisory. In the meantime, reporters and members of the public are encouraged to call the community information hotline at 510-238-2181 to get the latest information.

Media Contact: Sean Maher smaher@oaklandca.gov 510-238-6358 desk 510-473-2610 cell

Download the press release.

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