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Council president criticizes city administration after tiny home village fire

Five people in Oakland lost their home Monday morning in a fire at that a city councilmember called “unacceptable” at a tiny home community, according to the councilmember’s office.

Shortly after 10 a.m., fire dispatchers received word of a fire at Second Avenue and East 12th Street where the Union Point on the Rise community merged with the tiny home community of Lakeview Village.

When firefighters arrived, three Union Point tiny homes were engulfed in flames, fire spokesman Michael Hunt said. A fourth was damaged but not destroyed, Hunt said.

In 25 minutes, firefighters were able to bring the fire under control. No one was injured or killed, Hunt said.

Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas said she was saddened that five people were displaced by the fire and that the fire shouldn’t have happened.

Bas said:

“It is unacceptable that this fire took place. … The site must be a safe and high quality living space for clients, staff, and nearby community members, including students and staff next door at Dewey Academy.”

Dewey Academy is a high school for 16- to 18-year-old students who need an alternative way to reach their goals.

Bas added:

“I am frustrated by the City Administration’s lack of follow-through and action to ensure that the merging of our program with the neighboring UPOR community is safe and successful, despite my office raising serious concerns and providing specific recommendations repeatedly over the course of several months.” 

She said:

“This fire is a clear demonstration of the need for greater accountability and for our concerns to be addressed immediately.” 

Hunt said Tuesday morning that the cause of the fire “is currently undetermined but based on existing surveillance footage” it “is presumed to be accidental in nature.”

Bas also said she is grateful no one was injured and for the firefighters’ immediate response and coordination with her office.

Editor’s note: A previous story mistakenly said the fire occurred in Lakeview Village. A city councilmember’s spokesperson said the fire took place in the tiny home village of Union Point on the Rise, which merged with Lakeview Village. The updated story above has the correct information.

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