Fire Department Log

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday August 15, 2006

Million-dollar cigarette 

The careless disposal of a smoldering cigarette butt is the probable cause of the three-alarm fire that caused heavy damage and injured firefighters last Wednesday. 

Deputy Fire Chief David P. Orth said one of the tenants had been smoking, and the discarded butt ignited the blaze that caused more than $1 million in damage to a five-unit apartment at 2626 Hillegass. 

Six people were injured in the blaze, none seriously. 

Orth said two firefighters are still recovering from their injuries. Those injured were hurt by flames, molten tar dripping from the roof, heat and exhaustion. Two firefighters were treated for injuries at a local emergency room, though no one was hospitalized, Orth said. 

Wiring fire 

A wire crimped during the recent installation of a pool maintenance system at UC Berkeley’s Recreational Sports Facility caused a fire that did $5,000 damage late Thursday afternoon, Orth said. 

The fire erupted after the wire overheated because it had been crimped against the wall during the installation of heaters atop the carbon dioxide tanks used to equalize the pH of water in the facility’s pool, Orth said.  

The system was installed in a room underneath the pool in the complex at 2351 Bancroft Way. 


Dorm fire 

Firefighters responded to UC Berkeley’s Unit 2 dorm at 3:39 a.m. Saturday, catching a trash blaze before it could do more that $250 in damage, said Orth. 

The fire broke out in a trash chute, he said.