A quick response by Berkeley firefighters to a residence at 1510 Olympus Ave. last Monday morning, July 11, caught a kitchen range fire before it had time to do more than $1,000 in damage, said Berkeley Fire Department spokesperson Deputy Chief David P. Orth.
Nursing home blaze
It sure helps to have a fire station next door, as residents of St. Rafael’s Nursing Home at 2628 Shattuck Ave. discovered last at 6:05 p.m. last Tuesday.
Smelling smoke, residents called the fire department, and soon folks were arriving from Station 5, which is one door to the south.
The location of the blaze proved to be something of a mystery, and tenants were relocated to areas away from the site of the suspected blaze, and plans were made to relocate them to other homes.
Firefighters finally found the cause of the blaze—an electrical short in wiring buried deep under attic insulation, and they had to remove the ceiling from one room to bring it under control.
Orth said the fire and necessary ax and saw work caused an estimated $100,000 in damage to the structure and $15,000 in damage to contents.
The fire was out before it became necessary to move the tenants to other homes, he added.
A blaze of suspicious origins did $500 in damage to an exterior wooden stairway on a building at 1733 San Pablo Ave. shortly after 4 a.m. Wednesday.›