Wednesday, April 21

Three Oakland firefighters injured in apartment blaze - Inside Bay Area

Three Oakland firefighters injured in apartment blaze - Inside Bay Area

OAKLAND — Two firefighters were sprayed in the face and eyes with paint from spray cans that exploded during a fire cleanup and a third crew member suffered a back injury after an apartment blaze this morning in the Eastlake district.

Fire Department Batallion Chief William Towner said there were about three dozen spray paint cans in an apartment at the corner of East 11th Street and Ninth Avenue because the occupant works for a paint distributor and had older products and samples stored there.

Some of the cans exploded during the fire, but it was during the fire mop-up that the two firefighters were without protective eye gear and were injured. They were taken to a hospital, treated and released. The third firefighter, who suffered the back injury fleeing from the exploding cans, was treated at a hospital and sent home, Towner said. No one else was injured.

Fire officials said 22 firefighters responded to the 10:35 a.m. blaze in the top floor of a two-story, seven-unit apartment building. One apartment on the top floor was gutted before the fire was controlled about 11 a.m., officials said. There was some smoke and water damage to other units as well. Towner said the total preliminary damage estimate is about $250,000.

The cause of the fire, which started in the kitchen of the unit with the paint cans, is under investigation. It was not deemed to be arson, Towner said.