Indoor Grass Fire
Berkeley firefighters were summoned to an apartment at 945 University Ave. in the wee hours of the morning of Feb. 28.
What they discovered was a grass fire—of sorts.
The missing tenant had a garden going in the back bedroom, cultivating lots of a leafy green herb of dubious legality.
“A grow light fell down and burned a hole through the floor and burned up a bookcase,” said Deputy Fire Chief David Orth. “He was long gone by the time we got there.”
The blaze did relatively little damage, Orth said, and the growing operation was referred to the Police Department for further study.
An inconsiderate smoker is the likely cause of a dumpster fire last Saturday evening at 1040 University Ave., said Chief Orth.
“Someone dumped some smoking material down the garbage chute, and it ignited the contents of a dumpsters down below,” he said. Firefighters got the call at 9:14 p.m.
Fortunately, the dumpster was in a room designed to handle such fires, and the effects on the dwelling units above were confined to a little smoke, he said.
Sweaty Pipe Fire
A plumber sweating pipes with a torch prior to applying solder managed to ignite insulation in the walls of a home at 2267 Hearst Ave. just after 1 p.m. Sunday, said Deputy Chief Orth.
Though damage was minor, Orth said that pipe sweating is a surprisingly common cause of structural fires in the city.
When a Tree Falls. . .
Two cars sustained substantial damage Sunday when an oak tree, the hold of its roots weakened by the recent wet weather, succumbed to winds and toppled over on the vehicles parked in the 1800 block of Arch Street about 1:15 p.m., said Orth.W