A fire engulfed a top-floor apartment in a Lower Temescal building at around two o'clock this afternoon, scaring the bejesus out of several passerby, including an Express reporter who resides two doors down from the site and just happened to be outside when a small stream of smoke began pouring through a front window. Seven fire trucks responded and the fire was deftly extinguished within thirty minutes. It appears that no one was in the apartment building, located on 40th Street between Telegraph and Webster, when the fire began, and that no one was injured.
Oakland Fire Department Battalion Chief Lorenzo Frediani said it wasn't a particularly tough fire to deal with. "It was pretty easy for us," he said as he surveyed his men hosing down the building ï¿½ meaning that tenants returning home after work today are in for a very nasty surprise.