Crews extinguish fire after explosion at apartment complex in Oakland

Police are looking for two people in connection to a suspicious fire that caused an Oakland apartment building to fall off its foundation on Friday night, a battalion chief said.

Firefighters responded to a report of an explosion and structure fire at 638 E. 17th St. around 10:45 p.m., Battalion Chief Melinda Drayton said.

Fire crews arrived to find a small fire in the back unit of a two-and-a-half-story multi-family apartment building, Drayton said.

The two-alarm fire was under control about 20 minutes later, according to Drayton.

An explosion of butane gas canisters at the back unit may have caused the fire, she said.

Drayton said two people with possible burn injuries were seen leaving the unit and police are looking for those individuals.

A city engineer responded to the scene and declared the building condemned because it is uninhabitable, she said.

Fire crews treated a dog suffering from burns and released the animal to Oakland Animal Services, according to Drayton.

The American Red Cross was called to assist residents displaced by the explosion and fire, Drayton said.

No other injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation.
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