Page One

Fire Forces Evacuation of Regent Street Apartments

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday December 23, 2008 - 09:59:00 AM

A second-floor bedroom fire led Berkeley Police to evacuate a large three-story apartment building on Regent Street on Monday morning as firefighters fought to contain the flames. 

Fire damage to the stucco-clad L-shaped building was contained to the single room, while heat and smoke damaged the rest of that apartment and its contents, said Berkeley Fire Department Duty Chief Donna McCracken three hours later. 

“It was a single-alarm fire,” McCracken said. “There were no injuries.” 

Most residents were able to return to their apartments soon after the smoke was cleared, and by the time emergency workers left the scene, only the single apartment had been ruled unfit for occupancy.  

An investigation of the cause is underway, and no dollar estimate of damages was yet available. 

“The fire was extinguished within four minutes of arrival,” said the duty chief, which occurred shortly after an 8:30 a.m. call to 911. Firefighters had to force the door open because the tenants of the charred apartment weren’t home. 

By noon, the scene was clear and no ready evidence of the drama remained for passers-by save for the shadow of a smoke stain ascending the wall above the bedroom window.