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5-Alarm Fire Destroys Furniture Warehouse In Berkeley

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Flames, smoke darken the sky above warehouse fire in Berkeley.

Flames, smoke darken the sky above warehouse fire in Berkeley.

Don-Knapp_BIO-HEAD Don Knapp
Don Knapp is a general assigment reporter at KPIX 5 Eyewitness News....
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BERKELEY (CBS SF) — Firefighters battled a five-alarm warehouse fire at a woodworking shop in West Berkeley that started on Saturday night, a fire chief said.

The blaze was in the 1800 block of Second Street, near Hearst Avenue and the Eastshore Highway, Berkeley fire Chief Gil Dong said.

The fire was reported at 7:54 p.m. and was under control around 1 a.m., Dong said.

The size and magnitude of the fire decreased significantly since it began, Dong said. However, fire crews will remain overnight at the scene battling hotspots.

An employee at the Wooden Duck furniture shop confirmed that the blaze impacted the woodworking shop, which has been constructing furniture from reclaimed wood since 1995, according to the company’s website.

The company’s store building was not impacted by the fire however the shop’s back storage building was destroyed along with the Joshua Tree furniture store and a storage warehouse for Import Tile, according to a post on the Wooden Duck’s Facebook page.

Dong said the fire largely impacted one building and caused the roof of that building to collapse. Adjacent buildings were also threatened by the blaze, but Dong did not have details regarding which businesses were damaged or threatened.

High-tension wires burned in the fire and were dropping to the ground while firefighters were battling the blaze. Fire officials contacted PG&E to shut down power to the area to ensure no live wires fell on firefighters, Dong said.

The outage initially affected about 1,497 customers around 9:20 p.m., PG&E spokeswoman Jana Morris said.

About 460 PG&E customers were without power in the area at about 10:40 p.m., according to Morris.

All but six customers were restored shortly before 11:10 p.m., she said.

PG&E crews will make any needed repairs to bring power back to the remaining six customers once fire officials have deemed the area safe, Morris said.

Traffic on Interstate Highway 80, located just west of the blaze, was backed up as a result of the fire, according to the California Highway Patrol.

No injuries were reported and the cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

© Copyright 2014 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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