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Oakland Homeless Must Leave City-Sanctioned Camp After Fire

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) – An East Bay experiment with an a city-sanctioned homeless camp went up in flames Monday evening.

On Tuesday, crews cleared out debris and scorched personal items left after the fire broke out in the encampment underneath an I-580 overpass near the Emeryville border.

The fire was reported at 8:19 p.m. Monday night near Peralta and 36th streets. Black smoke from the destructive fire could be seen for miles.

One woman told KPIX 5 she has called the shelter home for the last six months. She said she doesn't know where she will go now after the fire.

12 tents along with much of their contents were destroyed. While there were no reported injuries, more than a dozen people lost their possessions and are now displaced.

KPIX 5 highlighted this particular area last October when the encampment was turned into a homeless shelter with barriers, toilets and washrooms. The shelter also offered a clean-needle exchange and additional city and county resources.

It was called one of Oakland's compassionate communities.

Tuesday night's fire melted the washroom and toilets, rendering them unusable.

As work crews cleaned up the burned debris and other garbage, the homeless who live at the shelter space are now faced with another dilemma.

An eviction notice has been posted announcing that all of those living here need to clear out by Friday.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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