A fire broke out in a three-story apartment building in the 1600 block of 62nd Street at approximately 9:36 am Wednesday. There were no injuries, but the building affected apartment suffered sufficient damage that its occupants will need to be re-housed, according to Berkeley Deputy Fire Chief Gil Dong.
Five engines, two trucks, one paramedic unit and three chief fire officers responded to the 2nd alarm fire and it was deemed under control by 9:59 am, according to Deputy Fire Chief Dong. The Berkeley Police Department evacuated one of the apartment units before the fire department arrived. The Red Cross has been called in to provide assistance to the occupants of the complex. “The building is uninhabitable,” said Dong.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. It is believed to be accidental.
Update, 11:10 am: Berkeley fire marshall John Fitch said the fire was in one two-story apartment occupied by a family of five, a couple and their three children. He said it was caused by something left cooking on a burner while kids were being taken to school. Fitch said the structural damage was estimated to be $300,000, and there was $100,000 worth of content damage. Residents in the complex were woken by the BPD this morning and were gathered on the sidewalk at around 10:45 am, many still in their pajamas.
Update, 12.52 pm: The owner of the building where the fire took place, Evelyn Belford, told Berkeleyside she had fire insurance.