Firefighters battle Cedar Street blaze

Updated at 5:13 p.m. Monday, May 13

A midday fire Monday caused "extensive" damage to a two-story Victorian home on a quiet residential street and injured three firefighters.

The cause of the fire on the 800 block of Cedar Street is not yet known, and Alameda Fire Capt. Michael DeGrano said an estimate of the damage it caused wasn't yet available Monday afternoon. It took firefighters nearly an hour to get the blaze under control.

DeGrano said the department was called at 12:39 p.m. Monday with a report that the single-family home was on fire. He said a neighbor escorted a resident of the home out uninjured before the fire department arrived on scene, about four minutes after receiving a 911 call. Three firefighters were injured fighting the blaze, he said, with two suffering from heat exhaustion and a third who was hit by falling debris.

Fire investigators believe the blaze began either in the rear of the home's basement or first floor, but it's not yet clear what might have caused the fire, which spread to the attic through the home's walls, DeGrano said, due to the way it was constructed.

"The damage is extensive, interior-wise," DeGrano said. He said nearby homes have sustained smoke damage.

Both Oakland and Alameda County fire departments were called in to help fight the fire, and Alameda police blocked Clinton Avenue at Willow Street.

A pair of bystanders expressed frustration about the fire department's response, saying they thought the department should have arrived and addressed the fire more quickly.

"It was a small fire in the back and the whole house got engulfed," a man who identified himself as Ken Baca said.

When asked about Baca's concerns, DeGrano said firefighters arrived in under four minutes.

"He's certainly entitled to his ideas," DeGrano said. "We do get people who become upset."

Chuck Kapelke shot a series of videos at the blaze, including the one embedded below.

Additional videos are here: