Smoke permeated San Leandro's Broadmoor neighborhood late Wednesday night as a one-alarm fire gutted a house at 490 Diehl Street.
The call came in at 11:10 pm.
Deputy Fire Chief Dave Rocha said the house was unoccupied and no one was injured, although the blaze gave firefighters a fright when the chimney collapsed while they were inside the house.
Rocha said the house was being renovated and most of the work was done. The work may have contributed to the blaze in two ways.
First, because there were unsual openings in the exterior of the house, the fire was able to travel more quickly, he said.
"Even having a door open can make a huge difference," he said.
Secondly, although investigators have not yet definitely assigned a cause to the blaze, Rocha said preliminary indications are that it started from oily rags.
The San Jose Mercury News reported that the fire caused $300,000 worth of damage but Rocha told Patch he had no dollar estimate.
This video offers a glimpse into the aftermath of a fire response at a daytime blaze in San Leandro.