Investigation underway after 3-alarm fire burns Oakland home, church

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) — Smoke billowed and flames ripped through St. Andrew Missionary Baptist Church in Oakland Friday evening.

“There was a partial collapse in the residential property and the church also suffered pretty severe damage on the Charlie side of the building in the rear,” said Oakland Fire Chief Damon Covington.

About 60 firefighters were on the scene just before 7:30 p.m., making every effort to save the historic church.

“There was nobody living in the single family residence and the pastor was in the church when the fire started,” said the chief, noting it could have been a lot worse.

“Crews did a really remarkable job of keeping the fire to this building and part of the church. It really could’ve gotten the whole city block going if they hadn’t reacted so quickly,” he added.

“Yeah, it was intense,” said Oakland resident Matthew Evans, who could see the flames from a distance. “When I walked by, there were still flames protruding out of the building and just hope everyone is OK.”

Meanwhile, the chief says, despite everyone being safe there was a close call.

“There was a collapse to the rear of the building when firefighters were inside the church and were just lucky nobody got hurt.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.