Without yet concluding that the massive Oakland construction fire on Friday morning was the result of arson, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) is now offering a reward of $110,000 for information that leads to the arrest of the person or persons they believe may be responsible for three recent arsons at construction sites in Oakland and Emeryville. As reported over the weekend, the same bicycle-riding arsonist captured on surveillance video in connection with the second of two fires at The Interval development on San Pablo Avenue in Emeryville is believed to have been potentially involved in the previous fire there as well as one last October that was near Lake Merritt, on Lester Avenue. And, given the similar circumstances a market-rate residential complex on its way to completion, spontaneously going up in flames at just before 5 a.m. many officials and residents have already been jumping to the conclusion that the Alta Waverly fire was an act of arson as well.
In this case, the fire caused the displacement of hundreds of residents of neighboring buildings, some of whom were allowed to return home Sunday only to then be forced to remain indoors when glass window panels began spontaneously popping of an office building at 180 Grand Avenue, shattering down in the street. As NBC Bay Area reports, between the 9th and 15th floor of the building, the windows were falling out starting around 7 p.m. Sunday, and leading to the closure of that building as well.
As ABC 7 reports, one woman who parked her car nearby to go to the gym had to wait to have the car pulled out by a firefighter after it was declared to be in the danger zone of falling glass.
According to the ATF's tweet, posted Friday evening, the $110,000 is a combined reward for an arrest or arrests connected to all three fires, on July 6 and October 31, 2016, and on May 13, 2017. Interestingly, Friday's fire occurred almost exactly a year after the first Interval fire.
REWARD: Combined total of $110,000 for info leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for 3 fires in San Francisco bay area. pic.twitter.com/aFtsNrOob2— ATF HQ (@ATFHQ) July 8, 2017