Cause of the fire that destroyed Oakland businesses appears to be electrical

OAKLAND (BCN) — An electrical malfunction appears to be the cause of a massive fire early Saturday morning that destroyed as many as 11 businesses near the Eastmont Town Center in Oakland, fire officials said.

It took more than five hours for firefighters to control the three-alarm blaze, which completely destroyed a corner building at 73rd Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard that housed numerous businesses, including a Metro PCS store, a nail salon, a tattoo parlor and a pharmacy.

When firefighters first arrived, the fire was burning only in the attic and they didn’t find any flames until they started opening up the walls, fire investigator Maria Sabatini said. Because of that, it appears the cause is likely electrical.

Sabatini said she is still waiting for the structure to be safe for her to go inside and finish her investigation. When the building burned, a large billboard on top collapsed and remains precariously perched on top of the shell of the one-story building.

Firefighters first responded to reports of the fire at about 1 a.m. Saturday, according to the fire department. It spread quickly and eventually flames were shooting from the roof of the structure.

It took until about 6:40 a.m. to fully get it under control. No injuries were reported.

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