I normally don’t post on the weekends, but this was too big not to. Apparently there was a huge fire on Alameda Point Alameda Landing last night. From SFist:
…They have trucks with variable reach booms trying to spray water in, but it kind of looks hopeless, one of those situations where it’s probably best to just try and keep it from spreading. I can see firefighters on the other rooftops…
The firefighters look like tiny bumps on the surrounding rooftops, in contrast to the flames and smoke. The firetrucks are all directing spotlights at the fire.
It looks like the fire found fresh material. It’s moving northward across the block and sending up pretty black smoke….
Although, when I look at the photo on SFist and then read the description:
We’re sitting at Jack London Square and it’s pretty much the center third of our visual range
Flames are burning structures at least three stories tall as firefighters work to contain the blaze.
A part of me wonders if the site that burned wasn’t the huge water front warehouses on Alameda Landing.
Last night around 9:00, maybe 10:00 pm my husband and I heard popping sounds. Like fireworks. My husband said to me, “Really? Fireworks at 10?” I remarked that maybe they were from the Hornet. He responded, “no, they sound too close” and proceeded to peek outside our window in the direction of the noise. He then said, “sounds like someone’s rinky dinky bottle rockets.”
Then we heard sirens.
I thought they were police, but apparently they were fire trucks.
It is highly ironic that this happened on the heels of two major developments for Alameda Point. The first is the release of the ballot language to redevelop the base. The second is the news that the Fire Department is shifting the brownouts from the rotating Bay Farm and West End stations and instead browning out the Alameda Point Advanced Life Support truck.
So, folks are going to be spinning this a number of ways. The most obvious is the “we have to fully staff our fire department in order to prevent this from happening somewhere where there might actually be people!” The other will be, “this is what happens when we just leave those areas to rot, attractive nuisances that become dangerous liabilities for the City and its citizens.” I’m going with the latter.
UPDATE: Okay as I was writing this, my suspicions were confirmed with a wire report saying that the old hospital at Alameda Landing was the building destroyed, I thought that Alameda Point might just be too far away from the Jack London Square line of sight.
And, John King weighs in, highlights:
A long-abandoned military hospital in the City of Alameda continues to burn this afternoon, nearly 12 hours after a fire of suspicious origin began inside the sprawling aged structure.
All 24 of the city’s fire fighters were pressed into service after the blaze on A Avenue in Alameda Point was reported at 2:30 a.m., according to division chief Rich Zombeck of the city’s fire department.
The two-alarm blaze lit the darkness, its flames a vivid site from Oakland’s Jack London Square and the nearby residential lofts. By daybreak, the flames had subsided but the innards of the building continue to burn – and because the former hospital was slated for demolition anyway, the blaze is not being battled in such a manner as to put firefighters at safety risk.
“The hospital was fenced off years ago but there’s been a lot of vandalism, and malicious mischief-type fires start there,” Zombeck said. Asked if arson is the likely cause, he replied “We’ll be investigating, but that is the assumption.”…
From the Oakland Tribune, highlights:
…”The city deemed the structure of the building unsound years ago,” Acting City Manager David Brandt said at the scene this afternoon, as two fire engines and two fire trucks shot water into the building from a safe distance. “So they can’t go in without doing some demolition first to open the building up.”
“We can’t keep the kids out of it,” Brandt said. “We have security patrol the area, and we put an eight-foot fence around the whole building, but kids see it on the Internet and cut open the fence and go in there to party.”…
Additionally the SF Chronicle story above (John King) is updated with a quote from one of our elected officials. A piece of advice, never assume that people know how to spell your name.