Crime & Safety

Seagull flies into power lines, fire and evacuation follow

BFD works on the fire at 1113 Delaware Street at around 8:40am that broke out on the morning of Oct. 2, 2012. Photo: David Yee

UPDATE 10:05 am: A PG&E spokeswoman said a seagull flying into two power lines caused a power outage. Tamar Sarkissian said she could not comment whether that caused the fire. Two customers are without power.

Original story: Berkeley residents were evacuated in one block of Delaware Street this morning due to the danger of power lines being down in front of a home that caught fire.

The fire was at 1113 Delaware Street in west Berkeley and, according to Berkeley Deputy Fire Chief Gil Dong, it is not clear yet whether the power lines fell as a result of the fire or vice versa.

The fire department received a call at 8:14 am and, once they were on scene, called out PG&E in order to secure the downed power lines. Berkeley Police were also brought in to evacuate local residents. There were no injuries to either residents or firefighters, and the cause of the fire is not known, Dong said.


At 9:00 am, crews were still on scene doing salvage and overhaul work.

Update, 10:14 am: NM Sanchez, who said he lives one block away from the scene, reported on Twitter that he felt two surges just before the incident, several minutes apart. “Lights dimmed, house shook. Eerie,” he wrote. Meanwhile, writing in our Comments at 9:26am, Augustus said: “I am about a block away and there was a very loud whirring noise and explosion of sorts and the lights went out for a second.  The smoke was just rising as I went outside to see what was going on. It looked as if the back of the Popeye’s was on fire, with orange-white smoke going straight up. The whirring noise was like 1000 blenders all going on at once. Now it just stinks, but at least the helicopters are no longer making more noise.”

We will continue to report the story as it develops.

The home at 1113 Delaware Street fronted by power lines in a Google Street View image

N.B.: The headline on this story was changed at 10:17am to reflect developing news.

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