Oakland warehouse that burned is supposed to be site for new affordable housing units


Oakland firefighters raced to put out a two-alarm blaze Wednesday morning at a warehouse near the BART Coliseum Station, which is owned by a nonprofit housing organization that had planned to start building affordable units this spring.


Resources for Community Development Chief Operating Officer Eric Knecht said he had wanted to start construction in a five or six months, which would include 59 affordable units. But because of the fire, the timeline is now unclear.


The two-alarm blaze was reported just before 6:30 a.m. at the building on  72nd Avenue and Hawley Street near the Coliseum BART station. And smoke could be seen for miles.


Battalion Chief Tracy Chin said there were also reports of multiple power lines down. But by 7:30 a.m., firefighters said the worst was over. No one was injured and no one was inside the industrial building. PG&E crews were called out to assess the scene.


The superintendent of building said this is a 10,000 square-foot paint storage area for George Masker Painting  Co., a business that's been in Oakland since the 1980s.


But Knecht said that a few years back, the George Masker sold it to his organization and the painting business has been a tenant in the building. 

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