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Fire Closes CommonWealth Cafe On Oakland's Telegraph Avenue

OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- A single-alarm fire in the space between floors in a building on Telegraph Avenue shut down a cafe and displaced more than a dozen residents Sunday afternoon, according to firefighters.

Patrons in the CommonWealth Cafe at 2882 Telegraph Ave. heard a loud popping sound this afternoon, but did not report the fire until nearly an hour later, shortly after 2:30 p.m., when they began to smell smoke, said Battalion Chief Emon Usher. An employee investigated and discovered fire in a storage space between the first and second floors.

Firefighters had to open up walls and ceilings to reach the fire, which appeared to have been burning for quite some time, Usher said. They were able to keep it from spreading to the residential units on the upper floors of the three-story building.

Around 16 residents were displaced, however, and the cafe shut down, in part because power to the building has been shut down. The fire remains under investigation but faulty wiring is considered a likely cause, Usher said.

The fire was under control by around 3:20 p.m. and no injuries were reported. Usher said damage was likely to be more than $100,000.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed)

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