BART Fire That Ruined Your Commute Was "Man Made," Officials Say

Categories: Crime, Fire
Federal agents have confirmed that the big blaze that screwed your commute on June 14 was definitely the result of some fire-happy arsonist.

After combing through the ashes and rubble at the unfinished Red Star senior housing complex at Fifth Street and Mandela Parkway in Oakland, agents with the ATF were able to determine exactly where and how the fire began. However, Special Agent Christian Hoffman said he wouldn't give reporters those details until someone was arrested.

"Only two people know what started the fire: the ATF and our partners, and the suspect that committed the crime," Hoffman told the Chron. "We don't want to reveal anything at this point."

Authorities had already suspected that the fire was arson; a security guard at the scene told police that he had been harassed by three people right before the fire started. Afterward, he said he saw those same people behind the building, and that one of them might have had something in his hand.

The unforgettable fire started shortly after 2 a.m. on June 14 at an under-construction senior center next to the West Oakland BART station. The fire spread to lampposts, cars, and power poles, and took down electrical wires. It then jumped to the elevated BART tracks, forcing officials to shut down trains between San Francisco and the East Bay.

The BART shut down left commuters stranded for hours as they waited for buses to carry them over the Bay Bridge. Needless to say, it was not a good day to be a commuter in the Bay Area.

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