Raging Warehouse Fire In Oakland Seen Around Bay Area

By Holly Quan, KCBS Radio

April 1, 2019
Raging Warehouse Fire In Oakland Seen Around Bay Area (Photo credit: Holly Quan/KCBS Radio)

(Photo credit: Holly Quan/KCBS Radio)

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OAKLAND (KCBS RADIO) — A warehouse in the Fruitvale neighborhood caught fire on Monday morning, emitting a huge plume of smoke that was visible around the San Francisco Bay.

The American Emperor building on East 12th Street and 19th Avenue appeared to be gutted by flames. The Oakland Fire department said it was a three-alarm fire. 

At times, the smoke coming from the popular building supply company darkened to gray and black. 

"It appears to be a total loss of this building, unfortunately," said Melinda Drayton, deputy chief of the Oakland Fire Department. There were no apparent injuries, she added. 

Firefighters adopted a "defensive" position, because of the fire's intensity, Drayton said. Their priority is to prevent it from spreading to a nearby building under construction, she said. 

The fire appeared to start outside around 8:20 a.m. and enter the warehouse through a second-story window, according to Drayton. 

Traffic slowed considerably on I-880 as drivers passed near the scene. 

The smoke was noticeable from the hills in El Cerrito and across the Bay in San Francisco where the fire department tweeted to discourage people from calling them to report it.