Fire Department Log, By: Richard Brenneman

Tuesday March 14, 2006

Bad week for cooks 

Berkeley firefighters responded to three residential fires over the past week, each of them caused when a meal went awry. 

Deputy Fire Chief David P. Orth said the fire was already out by the time firefighters arrived at the scene of a stove fire report at 2707 Stuart St. a week ago Monday. 

“The only thing lost was the meal,” said Orth. 

Not so with the second fire just before 4:30 p.m. Saturday, which did an estimated $30,000 in structural damage and another $10,000 in damage to the contents of a residence at 3011 Hillegass Ave.  

Orth said a short circuit in a conduit to a built-in oven caused a fire that destroyed the oven and did major damage to the kitchen. Firefighters also had to chop a small hole in the roof to control the blaze. 

The third blaze, reported at 6:27 p.m. Sunday at 1831 Woolsey St., did about $15,000 in structural damage and $500 to the range. 

That fire, too, had been largely extinguished by the time firefighters arrived. 

“On the bright side, we didn’t have any reports of damage from the snow,” said Orth, referring to the light dusting of that freezy skid stuff that was reported in parts of Berkeley Saturday.›