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Oakland Hills fire, 1991

Oakland Hills fire, 1991

Oct. 21, 1991: Mark Leonard reacts as he returns a day after the Oakland Hills fire destroyed his house. When he evacuated the home, the fire was not immediately threatening the structure. Leonard only took his wallet, pen and a strip of black and white negatives of his father.

On Sunday, Oct. 20, 1991, fire swept through the Oakland Hills, killing 25 and destroying 2,843 homes, and causing an estimated $1.5 billion in damage.

Former Times staff photographer Ellen Jaskol was sent from Los Angeles, spending several days in the Oakland and Berkeley area.

Oct. 21, 1991: Burned out car covered by telephone and electrical wires sits behind the Claremont Hotel following the Oakland Hills brush fire. Credit: Ellen Jaskol/Los Angeles Times

On the second anniversary of the fire, the Los Angeles Times published this column one article on the lessons learned.

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