The fire bore a striking resemblance to the disastrous 1923 Berkeley fire, which swept from the hills, destroyed 600 buildings, and leaving 4000 homeless.
The fire started at 11am and was under control by 2:30 pm and officially out by 4pm.
More than 200 firemen from the Oakland and San Leandro fought the fire for over four hours with the help of the residents who lived in the area. At times the fire came within feet of homes and rained sparks on their roofs. The damage was held to the loss of two houses, brush and oak trees.
From noon until 2pm the battle was a see-saw affair
Oakland Tribune October 16, 1960
For the residents, it was a battle to the death. They stood of roofs and garages pointing hoses with little pressure behind them at the walls of flame, which roared through the brush and oak trees.
In the hills above, Leona Street flames roared 50 feet into the air and came within that distance of homes. At one point, police advised people to advise the residents on Leona Street, Mountain Blvd, and Mountain View Avenue to evacuate.
A brush and timber fire that destroyed at least four Oakland hill area homes and menaced at least 50 more burned in the area of Pine Needle Road and Upper Broadway Terraceand came close to the buildings of the new Broadway Low-Level tunnel (Caldicott Tunnel). This was on September 25, 1937.
The photo below was taken at the hight of the blaze, but before the fire jumped Tunnel Road.
Scores of families fled their homes in fear; others who sought to save the belongings were ordered out by fireman.
The fire started close to the home of Police inspector Jesse Jackson at 6019 Pinewood Road at around 3 pm on September 25, 1937. During the first six hours, the fire had burned across the western edge of the Pinehaven district up Broadway Terrace to a point just below Skyline Blvd. and back down another canyon to the west.
The fire chief estimated the fire burned over 9 square miles of rolling hill county.
Hose lines Burned
Several hundred feet of hose laid across brushy areas to link the pumps to the fire area were destroyed by flames. Lack of water was a problem, they had used up all the water in reservoirs in the immediate area.
C.F. Humphrey – 13025 Broadway Terrace
Mrs. Marguerite Risley – 6493 Farralone Way
Homes Lost or Damaged
15030 Broadway Terrace – Ted Gould – gone
16060 Broadway Terrace – S. Albright – damaged
17014 Broadway Terrace – Ed Pohley – damaged
17044 Broadway Terrace – S. Sund – damaged
17050 Broadway Terrace – S.C. Purser – damaged
6539 Gwin Road – V. Sagues -damaged
6142 Pinewood Road – G. H. Cowles – damaged
6142 Ruthland – W.R. Powers – gone
Fire Started –
The fire started when a “backyard bonfire” got out of control.
There was a fire in November of 1929 in just about the same area. Some of the same homes were damaged then. The W.R. Powers home was saved in 1929 only to burn down in 1937.
The was a fire in 1933 with the loss of one home at 7135 Pinehaven Road.
The fire started in the Redwood Road area and raced through to Sequoia Park (Joaquin Miller Park) and down Dimond Canyon and also spread some into Shepard Canyon.
The fire, which began around 7 am on November 13, 1933, swept through the East Oakland Hills, burning a man to death, injuring two others, and destroying at least a dozen homes. It was under control by 2 pm.
The municipal zoo in Sequoia Park (now Joaquin Miller Park) was surrounded by a ring of flames as the fire approached the animal cages. The zookeeper’s we preparing to shoot the animals, the fire stopped just 100 yards from the cages.
‘The Abbey’ is Spared
The flames spread through the homestead of the late Joaquin Miller and destroyed the home of Miller’s late mother, which was occupied his widow, who was 83. Many of her treasures were lost, but she escaped. The historic Abbey was saved!
Shift in Wind
AT 9:20 am, the fire was fast approaching the Sequoia Riding Club at 2923 Mountain Blvd. The stable grooms led the frightened horses through the smoke to safety. A shift in wind saves the stables.
Mrs. Abbie L. Miller widow of Joaquin Miller with her niece
Carmela Ward and a couple of the 60 horses she rescued.
Juanita Miller helping fight the fire
Removing the body of Wm J. La Marr who burned to death
All the was left of one hillside home
Schoolboys who went class to fight the flames along Mountain Blvd