The seven-story Alta Waverly complex, which spans several blocks and would have been home to over 190 new dwelling units as well as ground-floor retail, was fully engulfed in flames as of about 5 a.m. Friday, prompting the evacuation of over 700 people from neighboring buildings and it remains unclear what secondary impacts the fire may have had on those buildings, though Oakland's acting Fire Chief Darin White tells the Chronicle that some nearby buildings did suffer damage from high heat.
Via PR guy Sam Singer, developer Wood Partners issued a statement Friday afternoon saying, "Our deepest concern goes out to those impacted by this unfortunate event. We are grateful that no injuries were sustained and we are working closely with local fire officials and investigators to identify the cause of the fire."
Per the Chronicle, federal investigators have joined the county in trying to determine the cause of the fire. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf called suggestions that this fire might have been deliberately set, "disconcerting," and said in a statement, "Oakland is in the middle of a housing crisis and the loss of these valuable units only exacerbates it."
Oakland City Councilman Abel Guillen has already come out suggesting that arson was a likely cause on Twitter.
Burning down housing doesn't help make #Oak housing more affordable. It only speeds up displacement of existing residents.— Abel Guillen (@Abel_Guillen) July 7, 2017
Here, Goody's camera captures over an hour of the fire's progress, and you can clearly get a sense of the scale of this thing, and plume of smoke it created.