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Fire That Killed Two Was At Vacant Oakland Apartment

OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- A two-alarm fire at an Oakland apartment complex that killed 2 people early Monday morning was the third fire that had erupted at the vacant building in the past year, according to authorities.

Neighbors in the Oakland neighborhood tell KPIX 5 the apartment complex near Eastlawn and 63rd wasn't much to look at.

Just after 1 a.m., a fire destroyed one of the four units.

It took an hour for Oakland Fire Department crews to get the fire under control. When they were finished, they found a man and woman dead inside.

"We're going to team up with the Alameda Country Coroner and OPD to get the fire victims removed and we're going to investigate the cause and origin of the fire," said Oakland Fire Department Battalion Chief Coy Justice.

Neighbor Leticia Gutierez, who lives across the street from the building, told KPIX 5 the building was empty.

"Vacant for years; maybe five or six years," said Gutierez. "No one has lived in it that I know, and I've been around this area for 45 years."

She said the apartment was a popular area for squatters.

"It was always vacant. People would go in there and sleep; homeless," explained Gutierez.

Oakland Fire officials confirmed that it was supposed to be a vacant building. This wasn't the first time a fire happened at this complex. The Monday morning fire was the third fire at the location this year.

In one of the previous fires at the multiplex, two units were destroyed and declared uninhabitable. The last fire happened just a few weeks ago.

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