Updated: Berkeley Police in Criminal Investigation of Alleged Hashish Production in Gilman Fire

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Wednesday May 28, 2014 - 09:33:00 PM

A one-alarm fire on the roof of a commercial building in North Berkeley on Wednesday night may have been caused by a hashish production operation, Berkeley, police said today. 

The fire at the one-story building in the 800 block of Gilman Street was reported at about 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday and was under control by 7:05 p.m., Berkeley Deputy Fire Chief Avery Webb said. 

An adult male who was on the roof when the fire started there extinguished the fire himself before firefighters arrived but he suffered burn injuries and had to be treated for them at St. Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco, Webb said. 

Berkeley police spokeswoman Jennifer Coats said police officers assisting firefighters in responding to the blaze discovered an illegal marijuana growing and hashish production operation at the site. 

Coats said fuel used during the hashish conversion process may have ignited the fire. 

However, Coats said a criminal investigation into the fire is still ongoing and no one has been arrested at this point. 

Webb said fire officials believe the fire started accidentally because there's no indication it was started deliberately or maliciously. 

He said the only damage was to materials on the roof of the building and there was no damage to the building itself. 

Fire officials initially said the fire occurred at the Royal Robbins outdoor clothing store in the 800 block of Gilman Street but a store spokeswoman said the fire was actually at an adjacent building. The store didn't sustain any damage and is open for business as usual today.