Search Results for: "berkeley fire department"

Berkeley Fire Department responds to small fire on Durant

The Berkeley Fire Department responded to an apartment fire Monday. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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The Berkeley Fire Department responded to a call of a structure fire in an unoccupied apartment building at 2631 Durant Ave. around 5 a.m., according to Deputy Fire Chief Donna McCracken.

No injuries were reported, she said, and the fire was extinguished in just a few minutes. The fire began on the outside of a building and then made its way inside. The fire department is investigating the cause, particularly whether it was linked to an encampment of people experiencing … Continue reading »

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A personal thank you to the Berkeley Fire Department

The remnants of Kay Trimberger's office after the fire. Photo: Kay Trimberger
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By E. Kay Trimberger

E. Kay Trimberger was eating breakfast at home on Dec. 12 when she heard a smoke alarm go off. She soon realized that a fire had broken out in her study, the place that held her computer with all her writing for her current book project. Trimberger called 911 and the Berkeley Fire Department responded within minutes. In this essay, Trimberger describes their particularly Berkeley response to the fire, and thanks them for saving her house.

We looked like a picture from a child’s book — a line of people in various stages of undress, starring up at the smoke rolling out of the top floor of my house as firemen swarmed in. I was in my exercise clothes and slippers, fortunate to have grabbed a jacket and gloves, while my neighbor, Alice, donned her long apricot down robe. Stephen, my tenant from the cottage behind my house, was barefoot.

Three fire trucks with at least ten men and one woman showed up quickly, soon joined by a fourth truck.  The fire report says I called the fire in at 9:19 a.m., that the firefighters left the station at 9:22 and arrived at my house at 9:26.  All I know is that everything happened very fast. … Continue reading »

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Election 2016: Who is Stephen Murphy?

Photo: Courtesy of Stephen Murphy (featured only)
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Name: Stephen Murphy

Age: 44

Job: Associate director, Alameda County Family Justice Center

What office are you are running for? Berkeley City Council, District 5

What is the main reason you are running? I have spent my career dedicated to public service and social justice and I want to build upon my experience and relationships to help my community. As a father of three children under the age of 7, I care a great deal about the quality of life in our neighborhood. I fell in love with Berkeley when I moved here 26 years ago and I want to ensure that Berkeley continues to be a place where everyone has choices for a good life. We must enact new initiatives to ensure that Berkeley is safe, prosperous, and accessible for all.

Why are you qualified for the position? In my professional life, I serve as the Associate Director of the Alameda County Family Justice Center. I deal firsthand with serious problems affecting marginalized communities. I have dedicated my life to pursuing social justice and my desire for justice and equity has resonated with voters. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley congregation shows resilience in wake of fire

After a fire Sept. 30 at the First Congregational Church in Berkeley, a sign thanks firefighters for their work. Photo: Fred Werner
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Five days after a three-alarm fire tore through the roof of a building owned by the First Congregational Church of Berkeley on 2345 Channing Way, causing an estimated $2 million in damage, the church’s senior minister, Molly Baskette, sat in The Musical Offering Café on Bancroft Way waiting to talk to members of her congregation. Baskette, who only became senior minister at First Church, as it is known, five months ago, has been holding meetings with intimate groups of five to eight people since her arrival, to “really learn their stories on a level of depth and intimacy.”

Wednesday, Baskette was poised, during her regular open office hours, to provide support and answer any questions about Friday’s devastating fire.

“I’m charged with reading the emotional affect of the congregation,” she said. Given that the congregation is very diverse and spans multiple generations, Baskette suggested there was an arc of grief and emotional needs.

There has been an outpouring of support from church members and the greater East Bay community since the fire. Many have asked what they can do to help the institution that has contributed so much to the local community. The church’s website and Facebook page have posted regular updates about the fire and its aftermath — including how it has affected events scheduled on the church campus — and, already, a crowdfunding campaign set up to raise money for the church has raised over $6,000 as this story went to press. … Continue reading »

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Update: Pipe repair may not be done before commute

EBMUD workers repair a broken water main at University Avenue and Grant Street, in Berkeley, on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. Photo: David Yee
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Update, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 5:28 a.m. EBMUD says water should be back on for customers by about 8 a.m., according to the latest info, “however work in the street will continue as we work with the city of Berkeley to facilitate coordination of other underground utilities.”

Update, Oct. 5, 4:15 a.m. EBMUD reports: “University Avenue down to one lane but open; Grant is closed. Crews are working now to install the new pipe however we have some utility coordination to do with the city of Berkeley. We are all working to get the customers’ water service back on and the street opened as quickly as we can. Right now it’s unclear if the road will be fully open in time for the morning commute.”

Scroll down for photos and video from the scene.

Update, 5 p.m. EBMUD is now estimating that repairs to a pipe that broke in Berkeley will be done by 2 a.m. Wednesday. The 83-year-old cast iron main was reported to have burst at 12:35 p.m., according to a statement released by the agency just before 5 p.m. Berkeleyside has been reporting updates since 12:41 p.m.

Traffic in the area, on University Avenue and nearby, continues to be disrupted in both directions, and detours are in place. … Continue reading »

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Update: Berkeley church says 3-alarm fire caused by roof work, crews still on scene, streets closed

Fire on Channing at the First Congregational Church. Photo: Ted Friedman
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Update, 5 p.m. Authorities say 94 children and 14 staffers were evacuated during Friday’s three-alarm fire at the First Congregational Church on Channing Way in Berkeley.

The fire was declared under control at 3:20 p.m. but had not been extinguished, Berkeley Fire Chief Gil Dong said during a 4 p.m. briefing. Firefighters were still working to put out hotspots.

He said crews would remain on scene throughout the evening and into tomorrow.

Scroll down for photographs of the fire shared by many community members.

Dong said the cause of the fire remains unknown and the investigation could not be carried out until the conditions are safe. He said Channing Way and Durant Avenue will be blocked off tomorrow, and could affect traffic for the scheduled Cal football game.

Dong said authorities are concerned about potential collapses, particularly in the chimney.  … Continue reading »

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Semitruck catches fire near Ashby exit on eastbound I-80

Photo: Jaige Rudner
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A tractor-trailer caught fire this morning on eastbound I-80, sending plumes of black smoke high into the air. According to the Berkeley Fire Department, there were no reports of injuries.

The fire was reported at 11:01 a.m. Berkeley Fire Department responded to the fire and called in Alameda County Fire Department as well.

Video on television news showed dramatic flames issuing from the tractor-trailer before the fire was knocked down by fire fighters.

If you’re missing our stories, you … Continue reading »

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Memorial garden dedicated to late Berkeley firefighter

Berkeley Fire Department dedication ceremony on Sunday Sept. 11, 2016. Photo: KLC Fotos
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On Sunday Sept. 11, the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Berkeley firefighters held a ceremony to dedicate the department’s memorial garden at the city’s Fire Station 6 at 999 Cedar St.

The garden, a place where Berkeley firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty are remembered, was dedicated on Sunday to deceased firefighter Tony Nunes. Nunes died in February 2014 in an accident on his family property in Martinez. He was 54 and had worked for the department for 28 years.

Several city leaders were in attendance, including council members Lori Droste, Linda Maio, Susan Wengraf and Kriss Worthington.

“Berkeley Firefighters gathered… to recognize lives lost in the line of duty, both here in Berkeley and across the country,” said BFD’s Colin Arnold. “They shared a moment of silence to remember the victims of 9/11, and reflected on stories of peers who had lost their lives.” … Continue reading »


Crash in West Berkeley causes moderate injuries to 3

Car crash. Photo: BPD
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A car crash in West Berkeley on Saturday morning caused moderate injuries for three motorists, authorities report.

The Berkeley Police Department said two vehicles were involved in the crash, which took place at San Pablo Avenue and Addison Street shortly before 8:40 a.m.

BPD and the Berkeley Fire Department responded.

One of the vehicles went into a building, said Lt. Andrew Rateaver, BPD watch commander, and caused minor damage.

All three of the injured parties were taken to the hospital for treatment.  … Continue reading »

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Authorities respond to burning car in Berkeley Hills

A car located near the Lawrence Hall of Science caught fire Friday causing billowing smoke to be spotted around town. Photo: Nate Miller
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A car that caught fire Friday morning in the Berkeley Hills caused enough smoke to be visible from around the city and to cause concern.

The Berkeley Fire Department received a 911 call about the fire at 10:20 a.m., according to Deputy Fire Chief Donna McCracken. The car was in the area of the Lawrence Hall of Science and BFD dispatched ALCO Engine 19 from the Berkeley Lab, in line with its automatic mutual aid agreement with that fire crew.

The ALCO crew tackled the fire but, around two hours later, it had to return to the car as there was more smoke, according to McCracken. … Continue reading »

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After crash, Berkeley fifth-grader rides to school in style

Lillia Bartlow points to the fire engine arriving at her house to escort her to school on Tuesday Aug. 30. Photo: Kelly Sullivan
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Lillia Bartlow got to ride in style to her first day of fifth grade at John Muir Elementary School on Tuesday.

The 9-year-old, who was hit by a taxi in March while on a Claremont Avenue crosswalk with her mother after a PTA meeting at school, rode in a shiny red fire truck, courtesy of Engine Company 3 of the Berkeley Fire Department.

The unusual trip was arranged by the Berkeley Firefighters Random Acts of Kindness program, which also provided a pool membership at the YMCA this summer for Lillia and her mother, Khadija Bartlow.

See a photo slideshow of this morning’s BFD escort below.

Lillia said she was excited about the ride Tuesday morning as she waited for the fire engine to arrive. Before the engine pulled up in front of her family’s Ashby Avenue apartment, Lillie was dancing around, a huge smile on her face.

That was a huge difference from her homecoming from the hospital in March. The taxi that hit Lillia on March 8 broke both her legs. Rods were placed in her femurs and she had to use a wheelchair to get around, said her father, Darryl Bartlow. Her family at first feared Lillia would have to use a wheelchair for a year, but the girl, who loves gymnastics, was able to walk by June.
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Berkeley police action on San Pablo after brawl

Photo: Libby Lee-Egan
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Berkeley police responded to San Pablo Avenue and Cedar Street for a disturbance shortly before noon Saturday.

Berkeley Police Lt. Andrew Rateaver said units are responding to multiple reports of two or three people fighting in the 1700 block of San Pablo.

“Reports from my officers on scene indicate that the fight migrated into the street and was violent,” he said. Officers and Berkeley Fire Department paramedics were on the scene shortly before noon and the investigation is underway.

Libby Lee-Egan told Berkeleyside on Twitter that there was a “street brawl” at San Pablo and Cedar that was blocking traffic at about 11:40 a.m. The fight started in front of the Berkeley Adult School and employees from Enterprise Rent-A-Car tried to break it up, she said.  … Continue reading »

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Update: Man dead after shooting near San Pablo Park

Image: Google Maps
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Berkeley had its first homicide of the year early Friday after a man in his 20s was shot and critically injured near San Pablo Park.

Police called to southwest Berkeley just before midnight following reports of possible gunfire found a young man down in the street who was breathing but unresponsive.

Berkeley Police Sgt. Andrew Frankel said shortly before 4:30 a.m. that the man was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

“We don’t believe that there is an immediate threat to the community as the shooting does not appear to have been random,” he said. “The suspects are still at large. Homicide detectives are on scene and working the investigation.”

Frankel confirmed that dispatchers got numerous calls just before midnight Friday about loud reports — possible gunfire — near Mabel and Burnett streets. Several callers reported hearing what sounded like three gunshots. The location is south of San Pablo Park and north of Ashby Avenue. It’s one block east of San Pablo Avenue.

One woman also called police to say her brother had stepped out of their home in the 2900 block of Mabel and had not come back inside, according to unconfirmed scanner traffic reviewed by Berkeleyside.

Officers who responded to the scene found a 22-year-old man down in the street at Burnett and Mabel. Initially it was unclear whether he had been hit by gunfire. … Continue reading »

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