3 Fires Damage Apartment, Home: By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday November 16, 2004

Three fires caused significant damage to Berkeley residences over last week, reports David Orth, Berkeley Deputy Fire Chief. 

The first fire was reported at 2:16 p.m. Wednesday in the rear storage room of an apartment building at 1600 Hearst Ave. The fire, which took crews an hour-and-a-half to extinguish, caused damage estimated at $25,000. 

The first of Friday’s two blazes was reported at 3:10 a.m. at 2315 Hearst Ave., Orth said. 

When firefighters arrived, they found flames burning in the garage level beneath the structure. Flames penetrated through the garage roof into the floors of apartment units above, causing minor damage there. 

Flames were extinguished by 4:10 a.m., and while the fire was initially listed as an arson, investigators trace the source to a motorcycle parked in the garage, Orth said. 

Damage from the fire was estimated at $25,000. 

The largest of the blazes was reported at 5:37 p.m. Friday in a home at 1434 66th St.  

Oil in an unattended French fryer ignited, causing a blaze that spread from the kitchen to the rear utility room of the single family residence, Orth said. 

By the time the blaze was finally controlled it had caused at estimated $90,000 in damage to the structure, another $45,000 in damage to the contents and forced the two adults and six children living in the home to seek other quarters.