Neighbors call for rebuilding of Oakland rec center

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- An early morning fire on Saturday in Oakland has gutted a recreation center A two alarm fire broke out in Oakland around 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning at the Mosswood Park Recreation Center on Webster Street.

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Firefighters are still investigating the blaze. Luckily no one was injured. Meantime, this is a huge loss for people who live around here. They tell me there was recently a public meeting to discuss renovations here, which will be needed now more than ever.

"I'm speechless," said neighbor Janice Johnson. "I'm speechless and I'm heartbroken." Johnson says she's been coming to the center for 55 years.

"My kids were here every day I was here," she added. "Every day our children's children plan to be here every day."

According to fire officials and neighbors the center includes a pre-school, inclusion school and several daily activities is now charred and the supplies inside are destroyed.

Firefighters spent most of Saturday morning putting out hot spots.

The Batallion Chief says accessing the rear of the building was difficult. "The companies pulled large diagonal hose lines to stop the fire from spreading to the Victorian," said Zoradia Diaz.

Neighbors say they recently attended a public meeting at the center with local officials to talk about renovations.

Curtis Wissler says the center was one of the places up for consideration. "Obviously I would think that this would be at the top of the list for priority places now," said Wissler.

"I got a construction background," said Johnson. "I don't mind helping."

A long time gem in Oakland has been destroyed.

"There's no other place than Mosswood," added Johnson. "You have to have Mosswood like you have to have water in your body."

The people who enjoyed it most are already calling for the center to be rebuilt.
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