OAKLAND (KRON) — The Alameda County coroner’s bureau today identified a 36-year-old man who died in a three-alarm fire in Oakland early Saturday morning.
Daniel Thomas was an Oakland resident at the time of his death, according to the coroner’s bureau. He perished in a fire at a two-story apartment building in the 600 block of 24th Street along with Davis Letona, 27, also of Oakland.
The fire broke out at an apartment building at 671 24th St. and spread to a second building on 23rd St., Battalion Chief Geoff Hunter said. Crews working the fire discovered two victims inside one of the buildings, firefighters said.
The fire was first reported shortly before 3 a.m. after a smoke detector sounded, said Hunter. A crew arrived to investigate the report and found smoke coming from a second-floor apartment unit, prompting a first-alarm response at about 3:20 a.m., Hunter said. As crews arrived on scene the blaze was upgraded to a second alarm then third alarm, he added.
The fire started in a large two-story apartment building containing six units and spread to a rear, adjoining building with 35 units, which were not all occupied, according to Hunter. Both buildings were originally one structure that served as an armory, but have since been split into two, Hunter said. The blaze quickly spread through a roof shared by both buildings, he said.
The blaze was under control at about 4:10 a.m., Hunter said. All the occupants from both buildings were able to evacuate on their own except for two people who died inside the unit where the fire started, he said.
The deceased were a 35-year-old man and a 28-year-old man, according to Hunter. Oakland police and fire investigators remained at the scene Saturday morning to continue their investigation regarding the cause of the fire, he said.
About 30 people were displaced by the fire and were receiving assistance by the American Red Cross, who opened an evacuation center at its
office located at 3901 Broadway. No other injuries were reported.
Friends of Letona have set up a gofundme.com page to raise money for a memorial service and to assist in bringing his family up to the Bay Area to celebrate his life. For more information on how to donate, click here.
Watch KRON 4’s Mike Pelton’s live report from the scene of the fire.
KRON 4 will update this story as details become available.