Gautham Thomas is a news reporter. Contact him at [email protected]
A small accidental fire early Monday morning caused minor damage to a property in West Berkeley and injured one person, fire officials said.
The fire began in a Berkeley apartment building at 2309 Acton St., near Bancroft Avenue.
“The fire is determined to be accidental, due to improper use or malfunction of a propane heater,” said Berkeley Interim Fire Chief Gil Dong.
Only one unit in the fiveplex building was affected, Dong said. Firefighters arrived and extinguished the fire minutes after residents reported the incident at 12:03 a.m. Monday morning.
Dong estimates that the fire caused approximately $25,000 in structural damage and $5,000 in damage to the contents of the apartment unit. Residents were able to reoccupy the other units after the fire was extinguished.
Responders transported the occupant of the affected unit to Highland Hospital in Oakland for treatment for smoke inhalation and minor burns. Firefighters and other residents sustained no other injuries, Dong said.
“During extreme cold weather periods, people should be aware of the safety hazards when using candles or other types of heaters and to have any floor or wall furnaces checked — not only check for operation but make sure they’re not putting out carbon monoxide,” Dong said. “We would stress that people make sure they have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors installed in their sleeping areas and places of residences.”