"An attack on new housing in Oakland is an attack on keeping families housed in Oakland," said the Mayor.
Tuesday morning's fire was the sixth at a major construction site since 2012 in Oakland, and the eighth in the East Bay. There were two fires, Tuesday. On Peralta Street, the owner of a building already in the renting process told ABC7 News that an arsonist slipped in during a change between security shifts, used gasoline, and lit up a unit. Surveillance cameras caught nothing, even though the owner has been spending $50,000 a month on security.
"Did security cameras see anyone?" we asked. "No," said owner of bldg at Hollis and Peralta. Later, a worker at the site told us that at least one of those cameras, "was not plugged in." #abc7now #oaklandfires pic.twitter.com/c3y2t9MUuB— Wayne Freedman (@WayneFreedman) October 23, 2018
"The camera down there got unplugged and they were supposed to alert everyone and I suppose they didn't," said Mark Osgood, an electrical contractor.
RELATED: Fires at 2 Oakland construction sites under investigation
All of the fires here and elsewhere in the East Bay remain unsolved. Police do have video of a suspected arsonist before a similar blaze in Emeryville in June 2017.
Greg McConnell represents a group of developers who have offered a $300,000 reward.
Owner of 2nd bldg at Hollis and Peralta says he was spending $50-thousand a month for security, and still someone snuck in with gasoline, "during a shift change." One unit damaged. #abc7now #oaklandfires pic.twitter.com/eEwRh3clug— Wayne Freedman (@WayneFreedman) October 23, 2018
"They are saying help us catch this urban terrorist because that's what it is. No other way to describe it."
The word terrorism implies political aims. Oakland has them, especially now when torn between gentrification and an invasion of the homeless. Their advocates rallied outside City Hall, this morning.
"There is definitely a class war," said Needa Bee. "Gentrification is a class war based on money driven development that systematically removes the working class and low-income folks."
Not that anyone at the rally condoned Tuesday morning's destruction-- but it did set a stage.
Today's fires hit as gentrification and disintegration from homeless pull #oakland in 2 directions. "There is a class war," admitted more than one person at a rally for tenant rights outside #Oakland City Hall. #Oaklandfires #abc7now "Not that we're responsible." pic.twitter.com/MbuXkL9jyZ— Wayne Freedman (@WayneFreedman) October 23, 2018
"Trickle down economics has never worked and is not going to work," said Pamela Drake as she watched the rally.
McConnell watched, as well.
"If an arsonist thinks he is contributing to betterment by protecting against gentrification, he is doing the opposite."