Final investigation report confirms Haste Street fire was accidental

Christopher Yee/Staff

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A report released Monday confirmed that the fire that destroyed the historic Sequoia building on Telegraph Avenue started accidently in the building’s elevator room.

The five-alarm fire that broke out Nov. 18 burned down most of 2441 Haste St., including a multistory apartment complex, Raleigh’s Bar & Grill and Cafe Intermezzo.

“It is my opinion this fire originated in and around the elevator resisters. I am unable at this time to determine if this fire was caused as a result of a mechanical malfunction or improper installation of associated elevator equipment,” said Berkeley Fire Marshal John Fitch in the report. “It is my opinion this fire is accidental in nature.”

The Berkeley Fire Department’s full investigation report can be read below:



Soumya Karlamangla is the city news editor.