OAKLAND — Is a single, determined arsonist behind four massive construction fires that have scorched the East Bay over the past year, including a four-alarm blaze in Oakland Friday morning?
Two developers who were victimized in the earlier fires said Monday they’re convinced there is a pattern of arson.
Federal officials added to the intrigue Monday by releasing a shocking video of a hooded figure putting on gloves and scaling an Emeryville construction project two months ago, then scurrying away just as it bursts into flames. They described the figure as a “person of interest” in their investigation.
Displacement is becoming a larger issue in the big cities around the US, where the pressure for urban living is accelerating. These particular cities attract new businesses, highly skilled workers, major developers, and large corporations, all of which drive up both the demand for and cost of housing. As a result, local residents—and neighborhood renters in particular—may feel pressured to move to more affordable locations because these wood framed structures are not affordable to most that are having to move.
This could be a reason why we have seen 15 large high density wood framed projects in the last 15 months burned down during construction. Is this an attack on wood framed housing? Are wood framed buildings more vulnerable today because todays lumber ignites and advances so fast? Are the insurance companies driving the builders risk premiums on wood framed affordable housing projects making lumber built not as costly as it use to be. Fire Fighters are not going in these structures under construction they advance beyond what they can control by the time they get out on site. Are these projects we call affordable really affordable? The building industry has to embrace news way to defend wood structures from fire whether its a job site plumber mistake or a building lite on fire by someone being pushed out of an old neighborhood. Conboy has invented his patent pending wood framed Mighty Fire Breaker job site spray that makes building less vulnerable during construction. This clean fire inhibitor clings to 100% of the lumber and could even defend the advance of a gasoline bomb. This new cost effective job site fire inhibitor is so cost effective that some builders have said its no longer worth the risk of building with raw wood. Some national builders use this fire protection on every wood framed building they build. The old school fire treated lumber is being used so sparingly only on an exterior walls because of its cost and it will not defend a building during construction from fire since 90% of the building is kiln dried and EWP lumber. When will the Insurance industry catch on that the builders that are now using Mighty Fire Breaker job site spray fire protection for 100% of the lumber should get a reduction in the risk management premiums because it protects not only the builder but the Insurance provider from radical replacement loss say Steve Conboy a 40 year veteran in wood framed buildings.