California

The mayor of Oakland helped put out a fire at City Hall. That's not a metaphor

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf takes questions from the media during a press conference at City Hall in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2018. Schaaf reportedly helped extinguish a fire set at the oak tree in front of City Hall on Friday morning.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf takes questions from the media during a press conference at City Hall in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2018. Schaaf reportedly helped extinguish a fire set at the oak tree in front of City Hall on Friday morning. San Jose Mercury News via AP

An apparent attempt to set fire to the most famous tree in Oakland was foiled Friday morning, and it was none other than the mayor who helped put a stop to it.

Mayor Libby Schaaf, who was parked near City Hall and the Frank Ogawa Plaza oak tree in front of it, hustled inside, found a fire extinguisher and gave it to a security guard as branches burned shortly before 9 a.m., the East Bay Times reported. She then found a smaller extinguisher and helped put out the small blaze.

The fire was apparently intentional, as a woman ignited branches at the base of the tree; she was then by police to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation, according to the East Bay Times. Just one fire engine responded, fire dispatch said.

Photos of the fire surfaced on social media.

The iconic tree, the Jack London Oak, was planted in January 1917 and has stood for more than 100 years, according to the Jack London Society.

Schaaf, 52, has been mayor since 2015.

“As the mayor of Oakland, every day I have to put out fires,” the mayor quipped, according to the East Bay Times. “But today it was a literal one.”

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