Sections of the scaffolding collapsed while the heat made a crane spin. Mims said she grabbed her kitten, Kango, and evacuated her building.
According to the site, East Bay Redeveloped, the project was supposed to rise on what was a large surface parking lot and a small commercial building.
Last October, a five-alarm fire erupted at an apartment site under construction near Lake Merritt, which is under two miles from Friday's fire. It stretches across three blocks and had a planned 225 apartments and 2,300 square feet of retail space.
It is still too soon to say if this fire was caused by arson, but Schaaf said in light of other fires like the one in Emeryville, the city will beef up efforts to prevent illegal activities and arson within the city.
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She said she turned around and drove back to her neighborhood and found flames shooting from the building. But despite the calls and numerous complaints from neighbors, Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed - who has since retired - said in the days after the fire that her department had no idea there were people living or having parties at the Ghost Ship. A mixed-use development was being built on the site that burned.
The building, known as Alta Waverly, was set to be completed next spring.
Via PR guy Sam Singer, developer Wood Partners issued a statement Friday afternoon saying, "Our deepest concern goes out to those impacted by this unfortunate event. We are grateful that no injuries were sustained and we are working closely with local fire officials and investigators to identify the cause of the fire". Fears the fire would spread and a construction crane in danger of collapsing led to the evacuations of 700 nearby residents, some of which took shelter at emergency locations within hours, KRON 4 reported.
In March, a fire at a halfway house in West Oakland killed four residents.