A two-alarm fire at a triplex near Oakland's San Antonio Park that displaced 14 adults early Sunday morning has been deemed suspicious, a fire battalion chief said.
Firefighters responded to a report of a structure fire in the 1600 block of East 20th Street near 16th Avenue around 4:45 a.m., Oakland fire Battalion Chief Geoff Hunter said.
Responding crews could see the building heavily involved in a fire while en route and called for a second alarm soon after arriving to the scene, Hunter said.
The fire was difficult to put out because the one-story building was on a hillside located close to other homes, according to Hunter.
The first fire crew at the scene initially set up at an alley behind the home and prevented the blaze from spreading to neighboring structures, he said.
It took firefighters about 45 minutes to put the flames out.
“The building is on a hill and some of the best access was down an alleyway, so it was challenging, and we were able to confine the fire to the building of origin. However, the building of origin, which was a multifamily dwelling, was heavily damaged,” Hunter said.
The blaze was under control by about 5:30 a.m., he said. All 14 occupants evacuated on their own before firefighters arrived, he said.
The American Red Cross was called to assist the residents because the structure was deemed uninhabitable, Hunter said.
One of the residents was treated for a cut on a hand from breaking a glass window and smoke inhalation but did not need to be transported to a hospital, according to Hunter.
No other injuries were reported.Hunter estimated that the fire caused about $250,000 in property
The incident was deemed suspicious because of the heavy body of fire found when crews reached the scene, he said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.