Friday night saw a two-alarm fire engulf the Portobello condominium complex near Oakland’s Jack London Square, forcing all of its residents to promptly evacuate.
The residential blaze lit up the dark skies above 7 Embarcadero West in Oakland, shouldering the KTVU studios right next door. According to the Chronicle, the flames were shooting from both the second and third floors of the Oakland Estuary-facing complex, and the fire was reported around 8 p.m. last night.
"I heard people running, and then I heard the alarm going off so I was just scrambling to get the cats and come out here," said evacuee Dennis Nicolas, who was standing outside with his two cats, told KTVU.
The towering flames and billowing amounts of smoke were cause for concern for some distance away, too. Oakland Fire Battalion Chief Zoraida Diaz also added that the initial thick smoke forced a few residents to shelter in place, having to wait for firefighters to clear a safe path for them to exit; those residents were quickly brought to safety.
Across the street. They seem to have it out now. Oakland fire showed up super quick. pic.twitter.com/BUT11HLZbp— Dustin Allen (@dusteallen) October 19, 2019
Thankfully, though, the large fire was contained and controlled within a half hour, resulting in no injuries, per Diaz.
"They drilled [in from] the roof and tried foam and that didn't seem to work, so they put water on it and had the fire out," Portobello Board Member Rory Dean-Evans told KTVU.
Diaz added the fire was reported by members of a U.C. Berkeley sorority at 7:58 pm, who were having an event at nearby Eve's restaurant. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.