Berkeley firefighters rushed to the 1300 block of Ashby Avenue just after 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 10, after a resident of a two-story apartment building called to report a fire alarm had sounded.
Arriving at the building, firefighters saw smoke billowing from one of the apartment’s and forced their way in to discover a blackened pot with its contents ablaze on the stove top, reports Deputy Fire Chief Gil Dong.
While they were setting up a portable fan to air out the apartment, its occupants arrived. They were unable to recall who had left the stove on.
Besides a heavy scent of smoke, no other damage was done to the apartment, said the deputy chief.
Overcome by oven
Firefighters had to breach a security gate to answer their next major call, which came in 28 minutes after midnight on Saturday, June 13.
Arriving at an apartment building at 1430 Ashby, they found the security gate locked and nobody inside answering their calls.
After forcing the gate, they entered the building and found a smoky haze escaping from around the door of one of the apartments. Once inside, they found the occupant collapsed on the floor and smoke pouring from an oven set on high, where two sausages and some pieces of ginger were rapidly being reduced to charcoal.
Deputy Chief Dong said the resident was rushed to a local emergency room for treatment of possible smoke inhalation. Damaged was confined to the oven.
The next structure fire report came in Wednesday, June 17, when firefighters rushed to the 1800 block of Ashby Avenue to find more smoke pouring from one of the units in an apartment building, said the deputy chief.
Forcing their way in, they found a forgotten pizza flaming out in the oven, forgotten by the occupant, who firefighters suspect may have been in an altered state of consciousness.
The hapless apartment resident refused treatment for possible smoke inhalation.
Damage was limited to the oven.
“You may see a pattern beginning to emerge here,” said Deputy Chief Dong. The only solution? “Don’t forget when you’ve got something cooking.”