Firefighters use lid to put out kitchen pot fire in Berkeley

Allston Way was closed Monday night between Shattuck Avenue and Oxford  Street for a small kitchen fire. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Allston Way was closed Monday night between Shattuck Avenue and Oxford Street for a small kitchen fire. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Authorities closed Allston Way in downtown Berkeley on Monday night for about 45 minutes after a report of a fire in a five-story building across from the popular Cancun Taqueria restaurant.

Berkeley Fire Department Battalion Chief Bill Kehoe said the call about the fire, in a second-floor unit at 2161 Allston, came in at about 5:40 p.m. Kehoe, a ladder truck, four engines and a paramedic unit were dispatched to investigate.

Firefighters found the fire in a pot of oil on the stove — with flames rising 10-12 inches above the rim — in the second-floor unit.

“They extinguished it by placing the lid on it,” Kehoe said Monday evening, outside 2161 Allston. The fire caused damage to a nearby microwave, causing it to melt partially.


There was also some smoke damage inside the unit, and minor damage to a door in another unit in the apartment building where fire crews initially had been told the fire was located.

Berkeley police blocked traffic at both ends of Allston during the fire investigation. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Berkeley police blocked traffic at both ends of Allston during the fire investigation. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Kehoe said firefighters opened up doors in the stairwells and set up fans to clear out the smoke in the building, which had been evacuated during the incident.

As of about 6:25 p.m., a ladder truck and at least two fire engines were still parked outside the building on Allston, but most left within several minutes, and authorities reopened the road to through-traffic at about that time.

No one was hurt during the incident.

According to Oksana Yurovsky via Twitter, the Berkeley Fire Department was again dispatched to the block just before 10 p.m., several hours after the initial incident, when someone pulled the fire alarm on the third floor of the apartment building. The Berkeley Fire Department told her that “All units will be searched if [it] happens again.”

This story was updated at 11 p.m. to reflect the second fire alarm.

Berkeleyside publishes many articles every day. To see all our stories in chronological order, and read ones you may have missed, check out our All the News grid.