Majority of residents displaced by Oakland fire returning home

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The majority of residents evacuated from their homes because of a massive fire at an Oakland apartment complex that was under construction will be allowed back into their homes Saturday.

An unstable crane that had kept many of those residents away from their homes was toppled Saturday afternoon.

But, some people living on 24th and Waverly will not be allowed back due to damage sustained from the fire.

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"As we restore power, those residents that were only evacuated due to being in the collapse zone, we will allow them back in," Oakland Fire Department Deputy Chief Erik Logan said.

Residents at 100 Grand Street were allowed in first.

"I was pleasantly surprised when they told us that. I wasn't expecting to get in for at least another couple of days," resident Brandon Schlenker said.

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The Valdez fire erupted before dawn Friday in an apartment building currently under construction.

As many as 900 people were evacuated, and about a dozen businesses were impacted.

The call to evacuate several blocks in every direction came fast. "I live with my sister too and she has a new born baby and the baby is only 1 month old. When they said we have to evacuate as soon as possible, we didn't have anything in our hand," evacuee Passang Tsamchoe said.

And now waiting for word to hopefully return home is also hard.

"It is definitely sad, what else can we do now other than just waiting, we can't force them," Tsamchoe said.
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