Oakland City Council Speaker calls hometown fire ‘unacceptable’


OAKLAND (BCN) — Five people in Oakland lost their homes Monday morning in a fire that a city council member called “unacceptable” in a small community of homes, according to the council member’s office.

Shortly after 10 a.m., fire dispatchers learned that a fire had broken out on Second Avenue and East 12th Street, where the Union Point on the Rise community merged with the small community of Lakeview Village.

When firefighters arrived, three small homes in Union Point were engulfed in flames, fire department spokesman Michael Hunt said. A fourth was damaged but not destroyed, Hunt said.

Within 25 minutes, firefighters were able to bring the fire under control. No one was injured or killed, Hunt said. Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas said she was saddened that five people were displaced by the fire and that the fire should not have happened.

“It is unacceptable that this fire took place,” Bas said. “The site should be a safe, high-quality living space for customers, staff and members of the nearby community, including students and staff adjacent to Dewey Academy.”

Dewey Academy is a secondary school for students aged 16-18 who need another way to achieve their goals.

“I am frustrated with the lack of follow-up and action by the city administration to ensure that our program merger with the neighboring UPOR community is safe and successful, despite my office raising serious concerns and provide specific recommendations repeatedly over the course of several months,” Bas added.

“This fire is a clear demonstration of the need for greater accountability and the need to address our concerns immediately,” Bas said.

Hunt said Tuesday morning that the cause of the fire “is currently undetermined but based on existing surveillance footage” it “is presumed to be accidental in nature.”

Bas also said she was grateful no one was injured and for the immediate response from the fire department and coordination with her office.

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