A house fire on the 1000 block of 67th Street on Monday afternoon left five uninjured residents and two pets without a home to return to that evening, except that which the American Red Cross can provide them with.
The Berkeley Fire Department, or BFD, received report of a basement fire in the two-story residence at 1:11 pm, according to Keith May, BFD assistant fire chief. Seeing as though the residence is in Oakland, on the border of the two cities, the Oakland Fire Department responded as well.
“Our message in Berkeley is if there are multiple calls to both departments, we’ll work out the details later,” May said. “We definitely want to get to the scene quickly no matter whose jurisdiction it’s in, especially those on the border.”
May added that the residents and pets were able to exit the residence without sustaining any injuries prior to the fire departments’ arrivals.
When BFD arrived on the scene, the fire had made its way up to the second floor as a result of the building’s “balloon construction.” According to May, although many buildings today have fire blocks in the walls to prevent fires from spreading upward, older buildings do not have such precautions in place.
Although there was no known exposure damage to surrounding properties, “heavy” fire and smoke could be seen billowing out of three sides of the structure, May noted. Fire crews occupied both the interior and exterior of the residence until the fire was extinguished.
While BFD does not yet know what caused the fire, the incident is under investigation. May added that the Red Cross is in contact with the residents who were displaced.
Check back for updates.