(Lisa Fernandez/KTVU) - There have been four massive fires - one every three months - set at big construction projects in Oakland or Emeryville from July 2016 through July 2017. The ATF has officially deemed two a result of arson, and the owner of a third project says fuel was poured through his apartment complex. The fourth fire has not yet been ruled an arson, though speculation about that is rampant.
Click through this map to get an overview of the blazes:
- A six-alarm fire broke out at 3800 San Pablo Avenue Emeryville on July 6, 2016. The ATF has ruled this fire an arson. It is being developed by Rick Holliday and would include mixed-use retail and living units. It is called The Intersection.
- A fire destroyed a three-story apartment building under construction in 300 block of Lester Ave. near Lake Merritt in Oakland on Oct. 31, 2017. The owner, Athan Magganas, says that he was told by investigators that arsonists poured fuel throughout the second floor of the building before torching it. The ATF has not confirmed his account.
- A second fire broke out at what will become "The Intersection," at 3800 San Pablo Avenue in Emeryville on May 13, 2017, about a year after it was torched in a six-alarm blaze. In this case, a suspect was caught on camera walking on the sidewalk in a mask nearby and climbing up and down scaffolding on the building. The ATF has ruled this an arson.
- A four-alarm fire ripped through a construction site at 2302 Valdez Street in Oakland on July 7, 2017. The project, being developed by Wood Partners in Atlanta, is called the Alta Waverly. No arrests have been made, but the blaze has put the community on edge that someone is deliberately setting fires at construction sites in the East Bay.
A photo, taken in May 2015, says the words "If you build it, we will burn it." They were written on the old Sears building in Oakland during a Freddie Gray protest. The image was resurfacing on Twitter in July 2017 as some feel there is an arsonist with an anti-gentrification bent on the loose.