Berkeley restaurant catches fire twice in one night

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Firefighters responded to two fires at a restaurant within a six-hour span early Friday morning near the University of California at Berkeley, a fire official said.

Crews responded to a report of a fire at Mandarin Garden Restaurant at 2025 Shattuck Ave. between University Avenue and Addison Street shortly after midnight, acting deputy fire chief Donna McCracken said.

The one-alarm fire was found in a kitchen and extinguished, McCracken said.

Crews cleared the scene around 3 a.m., but returned about two-and-a-half hours later to a report of another fire at the same location and quickly called for a second-alarm response, according to McCracken.

Firefighters had to spray down water on the fire from outside the restaurant due to heavy flames and were able to extinguish a bulk of the blaze, she said.

As of about 8:30 a.m., firefighters were still looking for hot spots and did not declare the fire under control, according to McCracken.

A family that lives in the same building housing the restaurant had evacuated the structure during the first fire and remained outside when the second blaze occurred, she said.

Occupants of two neighboring apartment buildings were evacuated from the units and are temporarily taking shelter at a hall at the UC Berkeley campus, McCracken said.

The apartment buildings didn't sustain damage from the fire, but firefighters had to force entyr into a commercial space near the restaurant to check for any fire extension, she said.

It's not clear if the second fire started in the restaurant's kitchen and or if there's a connection between both blazes, McCracken said.

The restaurant sustained severe damage and the roof partially collapsed, she said.

Firefighters say there were no injured, but the restaurant is a total loss. 

The cause of both fires is under investigation.