EMERYVILLE (CBS SF) – Federal arson investigators have joined the effort to discover if a 5-alarm fire that raged through a massive Emeryville apartment complex construction project over the weekend was intentionally set, authorities said.
It was the second time since July 2015 that the site has been the scene of a major fire. That has brought agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives back to the scene.
“As you can imagine, with a fire in the same location within a 10-month period, the investigation team has its hands full,” said Alameda Fire spokesperson Aisha Knowles.
But there is little doubt to the cause in the minds of local residents who were forced from their nearby homes early Saturday morning.
“This is about money – straight up money,” said Swan – a man who lives in the neighborhood. “They don’t want that building there.”
In July of last year a six-alarm fire consumed the site, which was still under construction as it was on Saturday when the five-alarm fire burned it down.
No one has said they were injured in the fire but flames damaged four townhouses adjacent to the construction site.
Firefighters were alerted to the fire at 4:58 a.m. and by 7:16 a.m. it was contained. When the site was under construction last year, workers were building 105 apartments and 25,000 square feet of commercial space.
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