6-alarm fire in Alameda County to have ripple effect on tight housing market

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The Red Cross is assisting 20 people who were displaced by a 6-alarm fire in the East Bay. (KGO-TV)

A massive fire on the Emeryville Oakland border may have a ripple effect on the tight housing market. The construction project was to house 105 apartment units, much of it affordable housing. The mayor of Emeryville said the city is ready to partner with a developer to move the project forward.

PHOTOS: 6-alarm fire burns in Emeryville near Oakland border

Peter Nagel had just moved into his townhouse seven weeks ago. Now, he has to once again look for a new home in a tight housing market.

"That will probably be a tomorrow problem, or the next day to start thinking about it," said Nagel.

RELATED: Crews contain massive 6-alarm fire in Emeryville

Nagel lived in a complex with 17 townhouses. Several were destroyed when flames from the giant construction project next door, spread to the complex.

Emeryville Mayor Dianne Martinez says the new project was to house 105 apartment units.

"The housing that we're losing is about eight percent of what we've got in the immediate pipeline for what's being built in the next couple of years," said Martinez.

RELATED: 20 displaced after fire destroys Alameda County townhomes

Oakland City Councilmember Dan Kalb says that lost housing stock will impact neighboring Oakland as well.

"We're trying to get as much housing built in places that make sense. And this is one of those places," said Kalb.

Chris Plummer moved to Emeryville five years ago.

"There's a shortage of housing, but you have a lot of new buildings coming up like this," said Plummer.

RELATED: Social media played big role in providing Emeryville fire information

One of those new buildings is across the street from the fire at 3900 Adeline; its windows were shattered from the intense heat. On the other side of the project on MacArthur, is the site of a 120 apartment unit building.

Evacuee Paula Blackwell has lived in the neighborhood 35 Years. "All these people in this small space, all these cars, it's completely changed the neighborhood," she said.

But there's still a sense of community. A neighbor offered home cooked soup in front of his home for first responders and evacuees.

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