Fire Department Log By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday February 28, 2006

Familial arson 

An arson-caused blaze did $100,000 in damage to the structure and contents of a home at 1212 Bonita Ave. last Tuesday afternoon. 

Deputy Fire Chief David P. Orth said the fire was reported at 3:56 p.m. 

The alleged suspect, the daughter of the homeowner, was found nearby and taken into custody by police on a psychiatric hold pending an evaluation of her ability to stand trial, said Berkeley police spokesperson Officer Ed Galvan. 

As of Monday evening, the woman was in custody at the county jail in Santa Rita. 

Orth said the fire was started in the basement of the residence and the flames spread to the bedroom above. The suspect allegedly used a spray mechanical lubricant to ignite the fire, Orth said. 


Bulbed out 

Residents of 171 Brookside Drive learned a hard lesson Friday: Believe those signs telling you what bulbs to use in a light fixture. 

Orth said the call that came in at 24 minutes after midnight started because the residents screwed three 200-watt bulbs into a metal ceiling fixture. 

The large bulbs were touching the fixture’s metal mounting plate, which transferred the heat to the overhead ceiling space, triggering the smoldering flames. 

The damage to the structure was estimated at $20,000, with another $5,000 in damage to contents, said Orth.  

“A single 100-watt bulb can produce 400 degrees of heat,” said Orth. “I’m not sure what a 200-watt bulb can do, but it’s got to be a lot more.”Ã