The fire today that saw two stories of a Berkeley hills home extensively damaged, and a huge plume of black smoke visible for miles, was caused by a portable heater setting alight a bed mattress, according to the Berkeley Fire Department.
Interim Deputy Fire Chief Avery Webb said a mattress caught fire in a dormer room at the top of the house and the blaze spread to the second story below.
Webb estimated the damage to the home was valued at $800,000.
Nobody was at home at 1177 Keith Ave. when the fire started, according to Webb.
A neighbor called the home’s owner, believed to be Heidi Tarver, to alert her to the fact that the home was ablaze. The Berkeley Fire Department received a first call at 11:47 a.m. The fire was fully extinguished by about 2:00 p.m.
Firefighters respond to house fire in Berkeley hills [02.06.13]