House fire on Berkeley’s Benvenue Avenue, no injuries

The home that caught fire around midnight on Tuesday night is on Benvenue Avenue in the Elmwood neighborhood. Photo: David Trachtenberg

A home caught fire on Benvenue Avenue just north of Ashby in the early hours of Wednesday.

Eyewitnesses say the house in question was 2924 Benvenue and report seeing a significant blaze. A neighbor who lives on Ashby Avenue said she was woken by sirens and the smell of smoke inside her home at roughly 12:20 am on Wednesday.

According to a Bay City News report, the occupants of the single-family home were able to escape from the house uninjured and initial reports suggest that the three-alarm fire may have been caused by a propane tank in the rear of the house. According to one source, one of the occupants of the home was a wheelchair user and the fire police department got her safely out of the house.

Update, 10.55am: Five relatives escaped from the duplex home, including one in a wheelchair who was rescued by the Berkeley Police who were first on the scene, according to NBC Bay Area. Firefighters were still on the scene at 10:15 am Wednesday morning. They say they will have to excavate the back of the house to find the source of the fire and estimate the damage to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.


The house on Benvenue at around 8.15 am Wednesday morning. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel

View a photo gallery of the fire by Rory Merry.

Read a comprehensive history of the house at 2924 Benvenue Avenue, which was designed for accessible living in 1911, by Daniella Thompson. (Hat-tip: Neal Parish)

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