Tag Archives: Berkeley Fire Department
Berkeley Fire crews responded to two fires on Sunday afternoon, which caused more than $200,000 in damage to homes in North and South Berkeley and displaced two people, authorities said Monday. The causes of both fires remain under investigation.
At 3 p.m. Sunday, officials received word of a structure fire in the 800 block of Shattuck Avenue in North Berkeley, said Avery Webb, acting deputy fire chief. … Continue reading »
Update, 8:25 a.m.: Oakland Fire Department is responding to a vegetation fire near Gravatt Drive in the hills near the south Berkeley border. Two Berkeley engines were called out to help but were subsequently canceled, according to Berkeley Interim Deputy Fire Chief Avery Webb.
Original story: Even though the air smells smoky this morning and there is a red flag warning up for the hills, there had been no reported fires in Berkeley as of around 8:30 a.m. today.
Berkeley Interim Deputy Fire Chief Avery Webb told Berkeleyside that the smell is coming from smoke drifting down from the fires in wine country.
Wildfires, fed by hot weather and strong winds, burned 200 acres in Sonoma and Napa counties on Wednesday. … Continue reading »
As the weather heats up — the National Weather Service is predicting that the temperature will hit 87 degrees by Thursday – officials have issued a Red Flag Warning for the East Bay Hills for Tuesday and Wednesday.
The wind is expected to pick up speed around 6:00 p.m. today, with heavy gusts of up to 50 mph possible by early Wednesday morning. The strong winds should last until 6 p.m. May 1.
The official fire season in Berkeley hasn’t started yet, but the fire department is taking extra precautions in anticipation of the heat and wind, according to Avery Webb, interim deputy fire chief and public information officer. Firefighters have been asked to check their wildland firefighting gear and put it in their vehicles, he said. … Continue reading »
An estimated 2,000 people took part in a city-wide exercise Saturday to help community members prepare for “the big one.” About 35 neighborhood groups, along with local businesses, the Berkeley Unified School District and members of the Northern Alameda County Amateur Radio team, participated in the earthquake drill, which was organized by the Berkeley Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), a program of the Berkeley Fire Department.
Residents learned a range of skills, from how to locate and map gas and water shut-offs, to how to use a garden hose to put out a small fire. They listened to radio station 1610 AM for an emergency broadcast, and signed up to receive test messages from the Berkeley Emergency Notification System via phone and email. They located their two nearest fire stations, and called out-of-area contacts to practice what they might need to do should a major earthquake strike. Runners from community groups took messages to amateur radio operators who work with the city to help facilitate communication should traditional methods fail. Teams of firefighters drove assigned routes throughout the city to assess potential “damage” to determine the most pressing problems. Afterward, they visited neighborhood groups to speak with community members. … Continue reading »
A Berkeley firefighter was shot at by an 88-year-old man early this morning after responding to a medical call, according to authorities.
The bullet struck a piece of equipment known as a Swissphone being worn on the firefighter’s belt, according to Interim Deputy Fire Chief Avery Webb, which prevented the male firefighter being injured. The firefighter, whose name was not released, did not require hospitalization.
Five firefighters — an engine and an ambulance — went to the 1200 block of Dwight Way after a medical alert device was activated at 1:41 a.m. said Webb.
“When they got to the residence it was locked,” said Webb. “Following procedure, we called for police response.”
… Continue reading »
A Berkeley-wide disaster exercise is set to take place later this month, and the city is working hard to get as many people involved as possible.
Participation ranges from the exceedingly simple — just sign up to receive emergency text alerts about the drill — to the more involved, with local business and neighborhood groups planning a range of activities. … Continue reading »
Authorities converged on a North Berkeley school campus Tuesday morning to practice how to respond to a scenario involving injured and deceased victims, as well as a barricaded gunman.
Victims, played by volunteers, wore stage make-up to mimic injuries. Police and fire teams, who began responding to the “call” around 9 a.m., had to come up with a safe strategy to care for the injured, who were scattered throughout the school, and locate the hidden shooter. First responders included several police officers, who found an injured “victim” in the grass outside the school; as they communicated suspect information and other details from the victim back to dispatchers, more and more crews arrived.
The operation culminated around 11 a.m. when a police team found and “killed” a volunteer playing the role of the shooter. Photos from the drill, by Emilie Raguso, appear here. … Continue reading »
A cigarette butt discarded by a resident in a central Berkeley home appears to have lit some paper recycling materials on fire over the weekend, causing a blaze that spread to the attic and caused $75,000 in damage, authorities said Monday.
The fire took place Sunday at about 2:30 p.m. Berkeley Deputy Interim Fire Chief Avery Webb said the fire, in the 1700 block of Blake Street, was under control in about half an hour.
Webb said the single-alarm fire started on the porch and spread to the roofline and into the attic space. When fire crews arrived, “three citizens with two garden hoses had controlled the fire pretty effectively,” he said. … Continue reading »
The Berkeley Fire Department put out a fire, in the 1700 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way on Tuesday afternoon, that started in a gas line then spread to a utility truck and the roof of a nearby home, authorities said.
Martin Luther King was closed for two blocks, between Delaware and Virginia streets, while emergency crews responded. … Continue reading »
[Update, 2:45 p.m.: Read a statement from Chez Panisse owner Alice Waters at the foot of this story.]
A fire that broke out at around 3 a.m. this morning damaged a front part of Chez Panisse restaurant at 1517 Shattuck Ave. Nobody was injured in the blaze and sprinklers in the building prevented significant destruction.
The restaurant’s owner, Alice Waters, was said to be very upset and visibly shocked when she arrived at the scene at around 6 a.m. Berkeley Fire Department Interim Deputy Chief Avery Webb said a passer-by called in the fire at 3:04 a.m. The cause was most likely an electrical issue, he said. … Continue reading »
A fire in an in-law unit in the Berkeley hills this week resulted in about $30,000 worth of damage, and its cause remains under investigation, authorities said Wednesday.
Firefighters were on the scene in less than 10 minutes, but it took some time to locate and then reach the fire.
“Callers reported a strong smell of smoke; they didn’t have an immediate location,” said Webb. … Continue reading »
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. … Continue reading »
Update, 9:09 p.m. Firefighters say a portable heater caused the residential fire on Keith Avenue. Read about it on Berkeleyside.
Update, 2:10 p.m. According to emergency scanner traffic, the incident was determined to be under control as of just after 2 p.m. Berkeleyside will update this post as more information becomes available.
Original post, 12:42 p.m. Berkeley Fire crews are working to put out a fire in a north Berkeley home in the hills that began just before noon, authorities said.
Firefighters responded to the 1100 block of Keith Avenue at 11:47 a.m. for a report of a structure fire, said Interim Fire Chief Gil Dong. … Continue reading »