3 East Oakland businesses destroyed in 4-alarm fire

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Firefighters have contained a destructive four-alarm fire that broke out early Saturday morning at the intersection of 73rd Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard. (KGO-TV)

A 4-alarm fire overnight Friday destroyed three East Oakland businesses.

By Saturday afternoon traffic was finally flowing again on busy 73rd Ave at MacArthur Boulevard. That's in sharp contrast to the inferno that erupted overnight in a commercial building.

Twelve engines and 3 ladder trucks aggressively attacked the fire. Investigators are still looking into what ignited it.

"It was pretty bad because it's a common area and so easy it's easy to go from one space to the next, so altogether there were 11 units involved," said Oakland Fire Department battalion Chief Coy Justice.

A pharmacy, a nail salon, an a cellphone store were all destroyed. The big challenge for firefighters was wrought iron security gates at all the businesses that made access difficult.

A collapsed billboard on the roof top made it extra tough for firefighters.

Ishmael Ayesh man owned an EZ Pay business in the building.

"It's hard to see six years of hard work go up in ashes," Ayesh said.

He salvaged what he could and says he's already signed a lease across the street vowing to rise from the ashes of the devastating fire in East Oakland.
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