Smoke but no fire found at UC Berkeley fraternity featured in ‘The Graduate’

Authorities responded to a fire alarm at 2647 Durant on Sunday. Photo: Google maps

Firefighters responded to a UC Berkeley fraternity Sunday and found smoke but no fire.

While there, however, a brother in the fraternity had an unrelated medical problem and needed to be taken by ambulance to the hospital, the Fire Department reports.

Firefighters were called at 10:37 a.m. to investigate a fire alarm at 2647 Durant Ave. According to its website, that’s the location of the Theta Delta Chi fraternity. The website also notes the house “was featured in the hit 1960’s movie ‘The Graduate.'”

Firefighters found smoke inside a laundry room on the property, but were ultimately unable to find any fire, said Battalion Chief Bill Kehoe of the Berkeley Fire Department. He said sometimes lint or dust in a laundry room can ignite, but then burns up leaving no evidence.


Although no fire suppression was needed, the response proved timely. While firefighters were still on scene, one of the fraternity brothers passed out due to a medical issue, Kehoe said. A brother who is an EMT told BFD he believed the young man also had a seizure. As the patient was being walked to the ambulance, he passed out again.

Firefighters took him to the hospital for medical evaluation, said Kehoe.

Authorities closed College and Durant during the response, said Berkeley Police Lt. Andrew Rateaver.

The intersection was clear, and the incident was over, before noon, authorities said.