Press Releases

Fire Department Log

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday January 21, 2009 - 07:40:00 PM

Bug Bomb Blast 

Responding to a report of an explosion, Berkeley firefighters rushed to a business in the 2800 block of Sacramento Street Friday evening to find glass on the sidewalks from windows shattered by the blast. 

But the cause of the 10:14 p.m. blast wasn’t an explosive device. 

“It was insect foggers,” said Deputy Fire Chief Gil Dong, or “bug bombs” as they are commonly known. 

Once the smoke had cleared away, firefighters found that in addition to shattering the windows, the blast had warped an interior wall and demolished to probable cause of the pyrotechnics, a refrigerator. 

“People should read the instructions before they set off foggers,” said the deputy chief. “They clearly state that all ignition sources should be turned off,” including pilot lights and the triggers that fire up the condensers in refrigerators. 

“I don’t know if it wiped out all the bugs they were after,” he said. 


Bravest call finest 

Berkeley firefighters found themselves making their own call for help Sunday morning when a brazen burglar targeted cars inside the fenced parking lot of Station 2. 

An arriving firefighter was alerted to the crime when he spotted a briefcase open on the pavement inside the lot. Closer investigation revealed that a pickup’s camper shell had been damaged by a thief, who had broken both a window and a lock to get at the contents inside. 

“Nothing major was taken,” said the deputy chief, “but we reminded our personnel to follow Berkeley Police recommendations not to create an opportunity for burglars by leaving valuables on display.” 


Hot Starbucks 

Berkeley caffeine addicts were interrupted in their quest for a morning fix when a fire broke out in an oven at the Starbucks outlet at 2224 Shattuck Ave. just before 8:40 a.m. Jan. 14. 

“A full assignment of firefighters and equipment was dispatched on the report of a fire in the oven,” said Deputy Chief Dong. 

The fire was already extinguished before their arrival.  

“We secured the oven and evacuated the smoke,” he said. “It just goes to show you that you should always make certain to clear all the debris out of your oven before you start it up.”