Couch catches fire in Channing Way apartment complex

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Students were evacuated from the Channing-Bowditch Apartment complex Friday afternoon when a fire broke out in one of the units.

The fire, which began around 1:40 p.m., was the result of a couch catching on fire in one of the apartments, according to Declan McCarthy, a resident of the apartment where the fire occurred.

“Our friend lit a match because he thought there was some stench or something and then threw it in the trash,” McCarthy said. “The trash caught on fire and then the sofa … we started to throw pots of water onto it.”

While the residents were able to extinguish the fire, authorities from the Berkeley Fire Department and UCPD were called to the scene and residents were evacuated from the complex before being allowed back in approximately one hour later.

“No one got hurt. It wasn’t that big of a deal — it just looked like one,” said a UCPD officer on the scene.

Damages to the apartment were minimal, according to McCarthy. In addition to the burnt couch, the door to the residence was damaged after firefighters had to pry it open in order to enter the apartment.

Andy Nguyen is the lead crime reporter. Contact him at [email protected]
and follow him on Twitter @Andy_Truc.