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3-Alarm Oakland Fire Shuts Transbay BART Service

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Bay Area Rapid Transit riders wait for buses after fire damage shut down service in the agency's Transbay tube.

Bay Area Rapid Transit riders wait for buses after fire damage shut down service in the agency’s Transbay tube.

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Bay Area Rapid Transit’s Transbay Tube between Oakland and San Francisco was shut down Thursday due to a three-alarm fire at a construction site near the West Oakland BART station, officials said.

Officials said they hoped to have at least limited service restored by 4 p.m.

The fire, at an under-construction senior center in a framing stage between Fifth and Seventh streets directly next to the West Oakland BART station, was reported around 2:15 a.m., Battalion Chief Adrian Sheppard said.

The fire spread to include lampposts, cars, powers poles, took down electrical wires and spread to the elevated BART tracks, potentially damaging the tracks and necessitating shutting down power to the tracks, Sheppard said.

No one was injured and no homes or occupied buildings were damaged in the blaze, Sheppard said.

Firefighters had the fire under control around 4 a.m. but remained on the scene investigating the cause as repair crews survey the damage, Sheppard said.

Police said that an arson investigator would be sent to the scene to consult with the fire investigator as a standard procedure for a fire of this size.

The fire damaged track insulators, communications cables, electrical cables and other trackside equipment. BART crews are currently working to repair the damage. BART spokesman Jim Allison said crews hoped to restore single track service under the bay Wednesday afternoon, but an approximate time to restore full service was not clear as of 11:15 a.m.

Richmond to Fremont trains are running. On the Fremont to Daly City line, trains from Fremont are turning at 12th St. Oakland City Center Station. Trains from Pittsburg/Bay Point are also turning at 12th St. Oakland City Center Station. Trains from Dublin/Pleasanton are turning at Bay Fair Station. Trains from the Millbrae, Daly City and SFO are turning at Embarcadero Station. Expect residual delays on the Peninsula and in the East Bay.

In addition to the Transbay Tube, the West Oakland BART station is closed entirely. AC Transit has made some changes to bus routes to accommodate BART riders.

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(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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