Firefighters battled a four-alarm fire in Oakland that broke out late Wednesday and burned 10 structures and displaced about 40 adults and children.
Battalion Chief Lisa Baker said the blaze was first called in at 10:48 p.m. near 23rd Street and International Boulevard, firefighters said, and it quickly spread to several nearby businesses including Oakland Bait.
The fire began outdoors in the rear of a two-story residential building and soon spread to another nearby two-story building and took down nearby power lines, officials said. Power had to be shut off to some units, and water damage from the hoses made some of the structures uninhabitable.
Sabrina Rodriquez was one of the displaced residents.
"I heard three three bangs and thought they were gunshots, but then my roommate said, 'No, they're firecrackers,'" she said. "After that, we saw the smoke, and then we saw the flames. Then I started alarming everybody to get out."
Eric Piedrasanta said he left his wallet, keys and money inside.
"I was just nervous. I just wanted to get everybody out safe," he said.
The fire was contained at 1:09 a.m.
The cause is being investigated.