Market in Oakland red tagged after façade gives way

February 6, 2012 11:57:39 AM PST
Authorities have roped off a sidewalk in Oakland for fear of falling bricks. The facade of a building gave way at the corner of 13th Avenue and International Boulevard early this morning. City inspectors have red tagged the market, which means it is unsafe to occupy.

Around 6:15 this morning, firefighters got a call that there had been an explosion at the Express Liquor & Market. It wasn't an explosion, but you can see why someone might think that.

"I don't know what happened," said Express Liquor & Market owner Hassan Ahmed.

Even the store owner was confused by what he saw when he showed up. Luckily, the fire department is right across the street.

"We assessed the building, laddered it, we looked, there's no evidence of any explosion. It appears the facade just fell off," said Oakland Fire Department Lt. Scott Hellige.

That's somewhat good news. Residents in the back of the building didn't even have to be evacuated, but it was still a very dangerous situation.

"It's a good thing nobody got hurt. This can be replaced, but if someone got hurt," said Ahmed.

And the threat is not over. A city building inspector had the fire department block off more of the sidewalk. For fear more of the facade will fall. Neighbors are happy to keep their distance.

"I'm still worried about it. I see that, that came down. I'm wondering how much more of it might still," said Oakland resident William LePage.

Only part of the building was red tagged. The owner will have to hire an engineer to make repairs.

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