Fire calls: Blaze at Berkeley dry cleaner causes $100K in damage; man rescued from water at marina

Authorities responded to a fire at Martinizing Dry Cleaning early Tuesday. Photo: Ky Le
Authorities responded to a fire at Martinizing Dry Cleaning early Tuesday. Photo: Ky Le

A burglar alarm at a dry cleaner in Berkeley brought authorities to investigate what turned out to be a fire inside the University Avenue shop earlier this week.

The fire, at Martinizing Dry Cleaning, 1319 University, caused an estimated $100,000 in damage, according to the Berkeley Fire Department.

Deputy Fire Chief Donna McCracken said police were dispatched at 12:24 a.m. Tuesday for a motion sensor that had been triggered on the burglar alarm.

When police arrived, they found a fire burning inside the business, which is about three blocks east of San Pablo Avenue. The call was upgraded to a fire incident at 12:27 a.m. BFD was dispatched at 12:29 a.m.


Authorities responded to a fire at Martinizing Dry Cleaning earlier this week. Photo: Bill Kehoe/BFD
Authorities responded to a fire at Martinizing Dry Cleaning earlier this week. Photo: Bill Kehoe/BFD

Firefighters forced their way inside the door closest to the fire, which was burning toward the rear of the building, but found their access was blocked by machinery.

Crews moved their lines to the front door and forced entry,” said McCracken. “Once inside, advancing the hose line was slowed by piled textiles between the door and the fire. The fire was knocked down quickly once crews made it to the back of the business.”

The rough damage estimate of $100,000 includes some structural damage, as well as “a lot of garment and other items damaged by smoke and heat.”

No injuries were reported.

Water rescue Tuesday night

Image: Google Maps
Image: Google Maps

The fire department responded Tuesday night for a report of a man who was in the water at the Berkeley Marina hanging onto the Cal Sailing pier, McCracken said.


Firefighters were dispatched at 9:22 p.m.

According to unconfirmed scanner traffic, numerous police units also responded and tried to help the man out using a life preserver. The man was reportedly having “delusional thoughts.”

The man “was pulled up onto the pier and evaluated,” then taken to the hospital by Berkeley paramedics, McCracken said. It was unknown why he was in the water.

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