A rash of fires at housing construction sites in Oakland, as well as elsewhere, is hitting developers' bottom lines. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
In Denver, two construction workers died in March when a partially built wood apartment building erupted in flames. Several other workers were injured as they jumped from the second and third floors to escape. Dozens of cars melted from the heat.
Last year, three fires in the Boston area destroyed three unfinished housing projects and forced evacuations of hundreds of people in nearby buildings.
Alameda County had more suspicious fires than any other region, said Robert Solomon, director of building fire protection at the National Fire Protection Association. But it’s far from alone: Large fires have destroyed 45 major housing projects nationwide since 2009, according to M-Fire Suppression Inc., which sells a fire-suppressing spray. More than half of those fires occurred over the past three years, and seven significant construction fires have caused over $100 million in damage in 2018 alone. Some fires have been accidents, while others were found to have been intentionally set.