Flash: Berkeley Firefighters Battle Downed Power Lines, Gas Leak in Dwight Way Fire

By Bay City News
Thursday April 07, 2011 - 09:00:00 AM

Firefighters dealt with downed power lines and a gas leak while battling a blaze at a home in Berkeley this morning, a fire official said. 

Emergency crews received multiple calls from neighbors shortly after 1 a.m. reporting a fire in the 1500 block of Dwight Way, fire Battalion Chief Bill Kehoe said. 

Berkeley police officers arrived at the scene first and informed firefighters that power lines were down near the home, which made accessing the blaze difficult.  

"They did a great job of keeping us safe and informed," Kehoe said.  

Crews were positioned on either side of the home and controlled the blaze in about 40 minutes, Kehoe said. 

There were two gas meters in front of the two-story building. The meters were partially made of plastic, and the flames caused them to fail and release gas, Kehoe said. 

The gas leak created a six-foot ball of fire, which he said actually helped firefighters because it showed them where the leak was. Firefighters were able to find the gas shutoff valve, which was hidden under some debris, Kehoe said. 

Four adults were displaced from the home, and the American Red Cross is providing temporary housing, Kehoe said. 

No one was injured, and the cause of the fire is under investigation. Firefighters were still at the scene as of 6:30 a.m.