Fire at northwest Berkeley asphalt company ‘under control’

Firefighters on scene at the fire on Friday morning. Photo: Citizen reporter

Update, 4:42 p.m. All streets around the scene of Friday morning’s fire are now open and “safe to travel in,” the Berkeley Fire Department said in an alert. Some roads had been closed around the area bounded by Cedar Street, Fourth Street, Virginia Street and Eastshore Highway.

Update, 11:10 a.m. The structure that caught fire Friday morning was part of the Berkeley Asphalt Company facility on Virginia Street, said Berkeley Police Lt. Andrew Rateaver.

Train service is being restored and some of the traffic controls have been lifted, he said, but authorities are still advising drivers to “be aware of emergency crews working in the area.”

Update, 10:50 a.m. The fire was “under control” by 10:30 a.m., according to Berkeley Fire Department Assistant Chief Keith May. PG&E is still on the scene, and has shut off electricity and gas at the structure. No information has been provided about the cause of the fire.


Original story, 10:35 a.m. A working structure fire in northwest Berkeley could result in power outages in the area near the train tracks between Virginia and Cedar streets, police said Friday morning.

“This is a working situation, with traffic controls set up in the area,” said Lt. Andrew Rateaver in an email around 10 a.m. “Motorists are advised to seek alternative routes.”

In a Nixle alert around 10:30 a.m. the Berkeley Fire Department also advised people to avoid the area bounded by Cedar Street, Fourth Street, Virginia Street and Eastshore Highway.

No injuries have been reported, said BFD Assistant Chief Keith May. All trains have been halted, he said.

Berkeley Fire and Police are both on the scene, along with PG&E. Crews might need to temporarily shut down power, Rateaver said.

Berkeleyside readers sent in photos and descriptions of the fire Friday morning.

Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics, sent Berkeleyside a dramatic video of the fire.


“Just saw black plumes of smoke near 4th street where I work,” wrote Cecelia Mautner. She said the fire appeared to be near an asphalt plant.

Smoke pours out from a working structure fire in northwest Berkeley on Friday morning. Photo: Andrea Carroll

Berkeleyside will update this story as the situation develops.