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Crane Collapse Feared After 5-Alarm Fire Destroys Emeryville Construction Site

EMERYVILLE (CBS SF) -- Fears of a crane collapse prompted evacuations near a fire-ravaged construction site on the Oakland-Emeryville border on Saturday.

The evacuations come just hours after firefighters battled a massive 5-alarm fire at an apartment building under construction located at 3800 San Pablo Avenue.

It is the second time in less than a year the site has erupted into flames, authorities said.

Firefighters from multiple agencies responded after the blaze roared to life at 4:55 a.m. Saturday at the unfinished 100-plus apartment complex.


Partially-Collapsed Crane Following Fire at  Emeryville Apartments
A construction crane, damaged in the fire, was in danger of falling. (CBS)

The blaze was contained by 7:16 a.m.

No one was injured but the threat of the huge crane falling prompted the authorities to move 35 residents who live on the southern portion of 3900 Adeline Street. The American Red Cross was providing temporary housing to those who needed it.

The blaze destroyed the unfinished complex which would have eventually been home to 105 apartments, and 25,000 square feet of commercial space. Four adjacent townhouses also burned.

5-Alarm Fire Burns Apartment Complex in Emeryville
The fire sent embers and smoke over Emeryville and Oakland early Saturday morning. (Instagram @TICOCC via KPIX)

"The majority of the building was still under construction after the July 6th fire from last year," said Diaz. "There were three townhouses that were pretty much finished."

More than 450 local residents had lost their electricity as a result of the fire. PG&E crews were trying to restore electricity to those customers as quickly as possible.

A six-alarm fire heavily damaged the same project in July 6, 2016. Several nearby homes suffered minor damage in that blaze.

RELATED: 6-Alarm July Fire Destroys East Bay Apartments Under Construction

Flames in Saturday's fire could be seen from Oakland, Emeryville and Berkeley. They were also easily seen from the nearby I-580 freeway.


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