On a day when most of the media focus was on a blaze at nearby Horn Barbecue and the suspicious circumstances it occurred under, a second blaze occurred inside the nearby Target on Wednesday evening.
A video posted on TikTok by user Walid Alhajaji showed a section of the store near the pharmacy engulfed in flames.
@alhjajifilms Target on fire #oakland #target #Emeryville #BayArea #California #Berkeley #Albany, #BayAreaNews ♬ original sound – Walid Alhajaji
“A small fire occurred inside the Target store at approximately 9:10 p.m.,” OFD Chief of Staff Michael Hunt provided. “OFD was notified for a ringing commercial alarm. Upon arrival, the fire was already out, thankfully due to working sprinkler system.”
OFD remained on scene for 90 mins to disable the sprinkler system and use their blower to push smoke out of the store.
The source of the blaze were later identified as clothes that were intentionally lit on fire near the dressing room according to the SF Chronicle.
Oakland Public Safety advocate Keisha Henderson captured the aftermath of the blaze on the X platform noting “the whole produce section is destroyed. All of the kids’ and infants’ shoes are destroyed. 50% of the women clothing section and 100% of the family seasonal section is destroyed.“
Despite the significant damage the store apparently sustained, the store remains open with the damaged area partitioned off.
Emeryville Target: Someone started a fire in the store 2days ago. Target will lose a lot of money because the whole produce section is destroyed. All of the kids’ and infants’ shoes are destroyed. 50% of the women clothing section and 100% of the family seasonal section is… pic.twitter.com/vOiPYCp9lF— IamKeishaKeisha (@IamKeishaKeisha) November 24, 2023
The store has been the repeated target of suspected arson and a suspect was arrested in connection back in June. In some instances, small fires have been started to create a “diversion” as cover for mass retail theft.
The store is generally referred to as the “Emeryville” Target but the store and a significant percentage of the shopping center are geographically within Oakland. Jurisdiction of the shopping center falls on the Emeryville PD and Oakland Fire Department.
We have reached out to the Oakland Fire Department for additional information and we will update this story if warranted.
Despite the damage to Horn Barbecue and indefinite closure, owner Matt Horn distributed free Turkeys to the community on Wednesday. Horn has launched a GoFundMe targeting $200K to help them rebuild and support their employees.