The second time an Oakland fire crew rushed to a city-owned historic building to put out a blaze, Battalion Chief James Bowron nearly lost it.
He and his fire crew had been at the site two weeks earlier, on April 8, to put out a fire on the first floor of the vacant building that squatters apparently had started. When he realized the city owned the building, he called the Oakland Public Works Department and requested they seal it, fearing that another fire could leave many dead.
On April 25, firefighters arrived to find a larger and more ferocious fire that had spread from the first to the second floor. Squatters had apparently reoccupied the building, causing the fire. This time, two firefighters were injured battling the blaze.