Local evening newscasts all have reported a seven alarm fire tonight burning at the old HomeBase (Coliseum South) site immediately to the south of the Coliseum complex. I took pictures of the site several months ago and compiled them into an overview (PDF format). The site has been vacant for several years and though it is fenced off, there are several openings in the fence for people to enter. I never saw anyone there when I walked around the place to take pictures, but it’s probably a very inviting place for anyone that needs a roof and cover from police. The EDD building next door appeared to be threatened earlier, but reports as of 11:30 indicate that the fire is now under control. I sincerely hope no one was hurt or killed, though I have to wonder if this is somehow related to the displacement of a large homeless camp along the Lake Merritt inlet, next to the Oak-to-Ninth site. There weren’t many places the affected homeless persons to go after the camp was broken up, and the HomeBase building certainly could have functioned as shelter. Posted below are the old picture montage of the site and an aerial view.
The flood control channel that surrounds the site may act as a buffer, but some of the peripheral structures at the Coliseum may be in jeopardy, such as a cell phone tower and the football seats (which may be installed in the Coliseum right now).