Update: Candle left burning in tent caused fire at West Berkeley encampment

A fire broke out at a homeless encampment on Eastshore Highway on Aug. 12, 2019. Photo: Kathryn Javandel

Update, Aug. 13: A candle inside a tent that was not fully extinguished appears to have been the cause of a Monday fire that burned up a small stretch of a homeless encampment on the Eastshore Highway, just north of Harrison Street.

Berkeley Fire Department Assistant Chief Keith May said Tuesday that there were no injuries in the blaze, which also scorched the back wall of a storage facility. However the fire did not reach into the building, he said.

Original story: Berkeley Fire Department responded to a fire on Eastshore Highway, at Harrison, in West Berkeley Monday afternoon.

The first call came in to BFD at 3:39 p.m. and firefighters were on scene within a few minutes, according to BFD Assistant Chief Keith May. May told Berkeleyside the fire probably started in a homeless encampment. He said it seemed to have burned a telephone pole but he didn’t think there was serious damage.


Kathryn Javandel, who shared a photo of the fire on Twitter with Berkeleyside, said it looked like a tent had caught fire from the inside. “A man was standing nearby yelling. After I passed by, I saw firefighters and police coming the other way, heading to the fire,” she wrote on Twitter.

BFD is investigating damage to nearby buildings.