Major fire breaks out at construction site near Lake Merritt in Oakland

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Massive fire rips through building under construction in Oakland

Mims said she grabbed her kitten and evacuated her building. The fire has prompted evacuations in the area, according to NBC Bay Area.

The crane, which was swinging around on its own amid the flames, is adding additional concerns to firefighters.

KRON4 said the fire is just two blocks away from the Grand Avenue side of Lake Merritt at a construction site that was supposed to hold 200 units.

Alexandria Corneiro, a spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the October 31, 2016, fire that gutted a three-story√ apartment complex east of Oakland's Lake Merritt was intentionally set.

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The YMCA nearby also closed because of poor air quality and will reopen when air quality improves, KRON reported.

The site was part of the Broadway Valdez Specific Plan District, a mixed-use plan meant to revitalize the Auto Row section of the city. The fire was well underway by the time firefighters arrived minutes later and was spreading quickly.

"We were sleeping around 5 a.m. when we heard a woman screaming there was a fire across the street", she said. "But I think we all have to be concerned when several hundred units of housing are taken off the market in the middle of an unprecedent housing crisis".

"Thanks to the incredible efforts of the Oakland Fire Department, the Oakland Police Department, the Alameda County Fire, Berkeley Fire Department, Albany Fire Department, and Alameda Fire Department the fire at Alta Waverly has been contained", said Brian Hansen, Development Director for Wood Partners' West Region.

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The fire remained under investigation and local and federal arson teams were on scene. The fire started burning at 4:15 a.m. near the Whole Foods and an Acura dealership.

Nearby residents were evacuated by authorities.

Firefighters are aggressively fighting the fire, which sent embers shooting onto a neighboring house.

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