OAKLAND -- A vacant East Oakland market that was severely damaged by a three-alarm fire Tuesday night also had a major blaze in November, officials said.
The cause of the fire was still being investigated, but officials said squatters had been known to be living there.
The fire erupted about 8:53 p.m. Tuesday at the building in the 5400 block of International Boulevard. Bright orange flames leapt from different parts of the two-story building and heavy smoke covered a large area.
Battalion Fire Chief James Bowron said it took 60 firefighters until about 3 a.m. Wednesday to control the fire. There were no injuries.
The building previously housed the Sun Hop Fat Supermarket, which closed more than a year ago, said Bowron, who added that firefighters used to shop there for their stations.
He said there have been problems with squatters at the building in the past and firefighters found on Tuesday that plywood that had been covering windows and doors had been removed.
Officials said squatters are believed responsible for a two-alarm fire at the same site last Nov. 21.
Bowron said the latest fire virtually destroyed the building. He estimated damage to be more than $100,000.
City inspectors were on scene to determine the extent of the structural integrity and were in the process of contacting the property owner, who did not show up during the fire, officials said.