Five-Alarm Fire Burning In Downtown Oakland

By KCBS All News 106.9FM and 740AM

Firefighters in Oakland are putting out a five-alarm fire in a busy section of the city’s Chinatown neighborhood.

The fire first broke out at around 8:15 a.m. Wednesday and grew to five alarms in about one hour. About 100 firefighters were called to the scene as the fire grew rapidly, but crews were able to get the fire largely under control by 10:15 a.m.

It happened on Webster Street between 7th and 8th in a two-story building that houses the Rang Dong restaurant, Aloha Market and other businesses. Smoke could be seen pouring from the roof and was visible from miles away.

Update: 4th Alarm has been called. Firefighters head to roof to make cuts in roof to reach the seat of still active fire on 2nd floor. #OFD

— Oakland Fire Department (CA) (@OaklandFireCA) September 16, 2020

Oakland Interim Fire Chief Melinda Drayton says the fire started in a dumpster behind the building that ran up the side of the building and inside.

“This building behind us is approximately two-thirds of the block, significant old building in Chinatown," said Drayton. "We’ve got restaurants on the bottom. As far as we know we don’t have any legal residences above. All occupants were out of the building.”

Crews had to climb onto the roof of the building and cut through in order to get access to the second floor and get the fire under control.

The building is old, which caused the fire to ignite quickly and while crews were able to save the building, Drayton says there is significant smoke and water damage inside.

There are no reports of any injuries at this time.

Many of the firefighters who responded had just returned to Oakland after spending weeks on wildfire lines.