The fire started at 2:15 a.m. Thursday, June 14, at Fifth Street and Mandela Parkway, adjacent to the BART station. It destroyed a senior housing complex under construction and closed down the West Oakland BART station for half the day. At its peak, there were 100-foot flames and was so hot it melted paint and plastic on nearby cars.
Sixty-four firefighters responded to the fire which was extinguished within a few hours. No injuries were reported but the structure, a senior center under construction, was red-tagged.
A security guard told investigators he saw three men running from the site just before flames were spotted.
Investigators say they are not releasing specific information because the case is still under investigation.