Fire Log

By Richard Brenneman
Friday November 30, 2007

Cat on a hot thin rug 

A Berkeley woman who sought to comfort her kitty by giving it a nice warm bed on a cold night can thank that same cat for saving her from the fire. 

Berkeley firefighters were called to the home in the 1200 block of Peralta Avenue, where they found flames shooting up next to a floor furnace. 

Deputy Fire Chief David P. Orth said a woman placed a rug over a floor furnace—which, he said, is never a good idea. The rug caught fire, quickly spreading to the nearby flooring. 

The cat commenced to wailing, awakening its caretaker, who called 9-1-1. The arrival of firefighters kept the damage to about $25,000, said Deputy Chief Orth. 


Boarding house blaze  

A $50,000 blaze in a Berkeley boarding house left 40 UC Berkeley students without a home, and university and Red Cross official scrambling for places to house them. 

Firefighters were summoned to 2438 Warring St. at 2:23 p.m. Friday, where they found one of the rooms in flames. “That room didn’t have sprinklers, for reasons that are unclear to us,” said Orth.  

Hall sprinklers kept the blaze confined to the single room.