Firefighters are still putting out hot spots at a three-alarm business warehouse fire in Oakland that began Monday morning. The blaze impacted power lines and caused about 16,000 Comcast customers to lose service, according to Comcast spokeswoman Joan Hammel. Crews are working on running a temporary service line to affected areas to restore service by 6 p.m.
The fire likely spread from a debris pile on Solano Way behind the American Emperor business at 1900 E. 12th St. into the building at about 8:30 a.m., according to Oakland Fire Battalion Chief Melissa Drayton. The company specializes in HVAC systems, plumbing, and electrical building supplies, and was open and operating when the fire began. Twenty employees and customers were able to safely get out of the building and no injuries have been reported to civilians or firefighters.
Due to large amounts of combustible materials inside the two-story building, the blaze jumped from a one-alarm to a three-alarm blaze in about 30 minutes, Drayton said.
The entire roof of the building collapsed and there is extensive fire and water damage throughout the warehouse, which is believed to be a total loss.
Investigators are on scene interviewing witnesses to determine how the fire started. It created a large plume of black smoke near Interstate Highway 880 that was visible through much of the region, and people were asked to avoid the area due to poor air quality.
Fire officials have not yet declared the fire completely extinguished as of 4 p.m.