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Posted: 7:55 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012
KTVU And Wires
BERKELEY, Calif. —
An early morning three-alarm fire, possibly triggered by a propane tank, raced through a Berkeley duplex Tuesday, destroying the structure, authorities said.
A fire dispatcher said a call came from just after midnight from a residence in the Elmwood neighborhood of Berkeley reporting the blaze.
When firefighters arrived, they found the home in 2900 block of Benvenue Avenue fully involved in flames and the residents outside uninjured.
“I woke up and went to the window and heard a lot of fire sirens,” neighbor Ian Lesser told KTVU. “There were big flames across the street.”
It took several hours to get the raging fire under control.
“Early on in the fire we had a partial roof collapse and had to evacuate firefighters from the building until we could get a large portion of the fire knocked down,” said Berkeley fire chief Gil Dong.
No one was injured in the fire, but five people were displaced, including a woman confined to a wheelchair who was rescued by two Berkeley police officers before firefighters arrived, Dong said.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation, however the initial reports indicate that it may have been cause by a propane tank in the rear of the house, the fire dispatcher said.
Dong said the fire caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to the house. Most of the damage was to the rear of the home, he said.
The American Red Cross helped set up the family with temporary housing, he said.
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