OAKLAND -- Police are looking for two people who were injured following a suspicious fire that caused an Oakland apartment building to fall off its foundation Friday night, a battalion chief said.

A dog also suffered burns in the blaze, fire officials said.

Fire crews responded at 10:45 p.m. to 638 E. 17th St. for a report of an apartment building on fire, Battalion Chief Melinda Drayton said.

There, responding firefighters found a small fire in the back unit of a two-and-a-half-story apartment building, Drayton said.

The two-alarm fire at the multi-family complex was under control about 20 minutes later.

A preliminary investigation revealed butane gas canisters at the back unit likely exploded and caused the fire, Dayton said.

Witnesses said they saw two people with possible burn injuries leaving the unit and police on Saturday were looking for them.

A city engineer who responded to the scene condemned the building because it is uninhabitable, Dayton said.

A dog suffering from burns at the scene was treated by firefighters then released the animal to Oakland Animal Services, fire officials said.

The American Red Cross was called to assist residents displaced by the explosion and fire, Drayton said. It was not immediately known how many people were displaced.

No other injuries were reported and the cause of the fire remained under investigation on Saturday.


Advertisement

Bay City News Service contributed to this report. Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.