BERKELEY (CBS SF) – A van fire at Golden Gate Fields in Berkeley briefly threatened the barns where racehorses are kept, a Berkeley fire official said.

A person driving a van on westbound Interstate Highway 80 pulled off the highway onto Gilman Street after his engine started smoking, Berkeley Deputy Fire Chief Gil Dong said.

The driver pulled over at the racetrack, where the van caught fire, Dong said. The fire was reported at 8:04 a.m.

The driver was able to escape the van before the fire grew; however, the blaze briefly threatened the barns, Dong said.

Fire crews arrived and extinguished the van fire by 8:42 a.m., Dong said.

Fire and racetrack officials considered whether the horses needed to be evacuated, but it was determined that the barns closest to the van were empty because those horses were on the track, Dong said.

No horses, firefighters or civilians were injured. Only the van was damaged in the blaze, Dong said.

Golden Gate Fields is located at 1100 Eastshore Frontage Road.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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