Election Section

Fire Department Log

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday April 15, 2008

Campus evacuation 

Smoke pouring from the heating system ducts at UC Berkeley’s University Hall forced evacuation of the building Monday morning, reports Berkeley Fire Department Deputy Chief Gil Dong. 

And while no one was injured in the incident, which resulted from burning insulation after a fan motor burned out, an ambulance trip did result from the call that firefighters answered at 8:44 a.m. 

Just after the first engine arrived, a van pulled up with an another kind of emergency: A woman inside was in labor and about to give birth. 

“An ambulance took the woman to the hospital, and she gave birth before they could get her to the birthing room,” said the deputy chief. “I don’t know if it was a boy or a girl,” he added. 

Staff and students were allowed back into University Hall after a floor-by-floor search determined the cause of the smoke and the smoking motor was neutralized. 


Station blaze 

Firefighters had been summoned to the vacant gas station at the southeast corner of the intersection of Ashby and Telegraph avenues four hours earlier Monday, where they found a fire burning inside the building, as well as sleeping bags and other possessions belonging to homeless folk who had been camping within. 

No estimate of building damage was made since the structure has already been slated for demolition, while Dong said a value of $2,500 has been placed on the possessions burned up in the fire. Their owners were nowhere around by the time the engines arrived.