WATCH: Witness accounts of massive Oakland construction fire

OAKLAND (KRON) — An enormous 4-alarm fire broke out near Lake Merritt in Oakland Friday morning.

The flames began devouring a massive construction site at 23rd and Valdez streets around 4:30 a.m.

Apparently the building was empty, but several people from surrounding homes were forced to evacuate.

As the fire is slowly simmering down, KRON4’s Lydia Pantazes is talking to those affected.

One woman says if it weren’t for officers knocking down her door and waking her up, she may not have gotten out in time.

She sleeps with earplugs and was unable to hear the commotion.

Another woman says a gentleman knocked on her door before authorities started official evacuations.

She lives right next to the fire.

She said her family of four and their dog were able to get out in time, and tried to grab important items on their way out.

As flames got dangerously close to her home she spoke to Lydia, “I don’t know where to go after this.”

A 26-year-old man who was also evacuated described the scene.

He said after only having time to grab his phone and keys, he ran out of his home to the other side of the street.

From there he could still feel the heat from the flames.

As he looked around he saw “complete hysteria.”

He says his neighbors looked frightened and one woman even broke out in tears as the fire suddenly took over the entire construction project.

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