South Berkeley house fire displaces at least 2 people Friday


Berkeley firefighters rescued an elderly woman from a burning house Friday afternoon after a fire broke out in one of its bedrooms, authorities report.

Firefighters had to take the woman out through her bedroom window because flames had reached her interior doorway when they got inside, said Interim Deputy Fire Chief Keith May. The woman declined medical care at the scene.

May said the fire displaced two people in the single-story home, and that the American Red Cross had responded to help them secure shelter.

The Berkeley Fire Department was dispatched to the fire, in the 1900 block of Stuart Street (near Martin Luther King Jr. Way), at 2:52 p.m. The first crew got to the scene at 2:54 p.m. and saw black smoke coming from the residence.

“Within a moment or so, one of the residents had fled out of the house saying someone was still inside,” May said.

That resident, a younger woman, said she had heard something “pop” in one of the bedrooms. When she went back to investigate, she saw a fire already burning. That’s when she called 911 and ran outside.

Firefighters searched the home until they found the older woman, then took her out through her bedroom window.

The fire was under control by 3:10 p.m., May said. No injuries were reported.

The women’s ages and relationship were unavailable as of publication time.

May said the cause of the fire and damage estimate remained undetermined because the investigation had just begun.

Earlier this month, at least three people were displaced by a fire at a home on Fairview Street. Even more recently, on Wednesday, a man died after his boat caught fire in the Berkeley Marina.

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sullivan (file photo)