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5 Displaced, 2 Dogs Die in Latest West Oakland ‘Safe RV‘ Area Fire

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Five people were displaced and two dogs have died in a fire involving three recreational vehicles in West Oakland Thursday afternoon. The fire was the third in the area occupied by a large unhoused population in the past 10 days.

This fire was reported just before 4 p.m. at 34th and Wood streets where 17 RVs are located. About 20 local firefighters responded to the blaze.

“Great stop by the responding crews,” Oakland fire spokesperson Michael Hunt said. “All 17 (RVs) on site were at risk of going up in flames if not for the quick response by responding personnel.”

An investigation by The Oakland Fire Dept. concluded that the fire was accidentally caused by an occupant of one of the RVs who was burning material. The occupant lost control of a small fire consuming their vehicle and the two neighboring RVs.

Oakland Fire crews extinguished a blaze at the nearby Wood Street encampment on March 1. They responded to a second blaze just behind the safe RV site on March 7 (video above).

The RVs lot is managed by the City of Oakland and Operation Dignity, a nonprofit that works to house homeless people. The site was opened in 2019 and is attached to a “Tuff Shed” cabin community along Mandela Blvd.

The American Red Cross has been notified so it can help the displaced residents. Wood Street remains closed between 19th and 34th streets as of 5 p.m.

KTVU notes that a second unrelated vehicle fire along a surface street near the MacArthur Maze caused additional havoc in the area.

Feature Image: Oakland Fire Dept.

Rob Arias

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

4 Comments

  1. How many more of these deadly fires need to happen before we realize encampments are not suitable homes for anyone?! Houseless people needs real homes, with basic necessities – safety being one of them! CA has a surplus of taxpayer money – the problem are these groups who advocate for houseless people to actually live in these tents and horrible conditions SMH

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