FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) -- A fire at a condo building in Fremont's Warm Springs neighborhood turned into an hours-long standoff that ended with the suspect being taken to a hospital for what Fremont police called medical issues.
The man inside the condo building said he had a weapon and refused to leave.
David Kerbyson lives nearby and saw the scene grow into much more than a building fire.
"I saw SWAT teams with bulletproof shields running in there with automatic weapons," he said. "Fire was coming out of the top of the ceiling."
The Fremont Fire Department said they got a call just after 9 a.m. about a fire.
While fire crews were on their way, they got reports that someone was still inside the condo where the fire had started.
"The person that's inside reported that they had a firearm," said Deputy Police Chief Zoraida Diaz. "At that point, we retreated, withdrew from the building, and put ourselves in a position of safety and (the police department)."
The Fremont Police Department said that there was no immediate threat to the public but negotiators stayed on scene for nearly six hours trying to get the man to come out and surrender peacefully.
Because the man barricaded himself in the unit, firefighters had to work on putting out the fire through neighboring condos busting out walls and ceilings.
"If this was a building that didn't have the potential for life safety, meaning someone with a weapon inside, then the fire would have been extinguished," Diaz said.
In the midst of the negotiations and firefighting, electricity to the condo complex and many nearby businesses was shut down as a precaution.
Businesses like Elite Sports Physical Therapy, where workers watched the scene from their window, spending most of their day in the dark.
"I'm definitely sorry to hear what's going on over there," said Owner Kimberly Huey. "But you know, the ripple effect of just having to eliminate the power definitely ripples through all the businesses here."
Power to the businesses and condos was restored just before 4 p.m.
Both Fremont Police and Fire Departments are continuing to investigate what happened and if the fire was set intentionally.
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