But the three-story building at 621 Harrison St. was a total loss by the time it was put out, Battalion Chief Melinda Drayton said.
The fire was first reported at 5:21 p.m. Arriving firefighters found two people on a neighboring roof and it appeared they had escaped there from the burning home.
Firefighters used a ladder to assist them down, and they were checked for injuries at the scene but declined medical attention, Drayton said.
The two were detained by Oakland police and questioned as to their involvement in the fire, but it was unclear tonight if they were ever arrested.
The building's owner was at the scene and once the fire was out brought in a crew to board up the building to prevent entrance.
Firefighters will remain on the scene throughout the night checking for embers and flare-ups, Drayton said. In total about 60 firefighters responded to the blaze.