Another construction fire erupted on the North Oakland/Emeryville border last night. Oakland Firefighters responded to the 2-alarm fire at about 9:30 p.m. and were able to extinguish the blaze within an hour.
The location of the fire was an under-construction residential project at 919 Stanford Avenue near Destiny Arts Center. The project, a former printing facility, was slated to be converted to 7-9 live-work units and has been under construction since 2017.
— J. Bryce (@Jcdubzz) July 26, 2019
The circumstances of the blaze immediately invited suspicion of arson by the public. The area has seen several instances of suspected arson including the Intersection Project on San Pablo Ave and the Hollis Oak Project in West Oakland. Evidence from the Hollis project led to the arrest and confession of 45-year-old Faheem Bey.
Tony Wilson, the owner of the Stanford project, expressed that there was a high likelihood the blaze of his project was intentionally set. ATF agents could be seen investigating the scene but results could take weeks.
Many have speculated that these fires are a form of “anti-gentrification” protesting. Pro-housing advocates have been quick to point out that the impacts of these blazes will likely exacerbate our ongoing housing crisis by reducing our housing inventory.