Investigators treating Emeryville fire site as "crime scene"

EMERYVILLE, Calif. (KGO) -- Cleanup continued Monday in Emeryville where Alameda County Firefighters and the ATF are investigating a fire at 39th and San Pablo for the second time in the last 10 months. Investigators say they are treating the area as a crime scene until they can confirm otherwise.

Developer Rick Holiday calls it deja-vu.

"Never had an insurance claim until 10 months ago and to have two in one year of this magnitude is kind of hard to describe," said Holliday.

"Clearly an arsonist is after the building," he continued.

"It is unusual for a fire to happen in the same place twice," said Alameda County Fire Department Spokesperson Aisha Knowles.

Unusual but not necessarily arson according to investigators.

The July 2016 fire is still under investigation though it was ruled suspicious.

"Investigators are starting with a clean slate," said Knowles.

Holliday is hopeful video surveillance from 12 cameras will help investigators pinpoint who if anyone is responsible. He says ATF is currently analyzing the video in DC.

In addition to cameras Holliday says there were two armed guards outside when the fire broke out early Saturday morning.

"Someone really knew how to penetrate the building," said Holliday.

"Anyone who was in the area at the time of the fire is being spoken to," said Knowles.

As ATF and Alameda County Firefighters investigate, Holliday says he's focused on rebuilding.

"Just every fiber in my body says we've got to finish," he said.

Holliday says no one spoke out against the proposed project which will create apartments and he can't imagine who would want to destroy it now.

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