An Eastlake neighborhood community center in Oakland was devastated by a massive fire on Saturday, bringing a halt to the busy center’s operations of serving thousands of meals every day, fire officials said.
Shortly after 1:00 a.m. at the Vietnamese American Community Center in the East Bay, witnesses reported the fire. Officials believe the fire may have originated from a nearby homeless camp.
Fire officials said they were still investigating the cause of the fire. Fortunately, there were no confirmed casualties during the incident. However, Oakland fire spokesman Michael Hunt said they were still unsure if there were any of the residents of the homeless camps that have been displaced due to the flames.
By 1:40 a.m., officials were able to place the fire under control at the two-story building located at 655 International Blvd, next to Clinton Park, NBC Bay Area reported.
“This is obviously a huge loss for the community. Thousands of residents rely on meals distributed by the center,” said Hunt. Nikki Bas, the president of the Oakland City Council, said the incident was “devastating” to the Eastlake and Vietnamese community relying on its services.
“We were planning to come together at Clinton Park Sunday for Lunar New Year and will still come together for support, solidarity for all our communities and in unity,” Bas said on a Twitter post on Saturday.