2 homes damaged, 2 firefighters hurt in Berkeley fire

December 29, 2011 12:09:52 AM PST
Two firefighters were injured Wednesday night during a battle to save homes in the Berkeley hills. The fire moved fast, ripping through one home, then jumping to another. It happened around 8:35 p.m. on Miller Avenue, near Grizzly Peak Boulevard, not far Tilden Park Golf Course.

No residents were injured in the fire, but two firefighters suffered heat exhaustion. Both are doing well at this point.

About 15 homes were evacuated in the neighborhood, one of them is where a man, Tristan Goldstein, was house-sitting for his parents and he may have been the first one to see the fire.

"I noticed a big whoosh and the light of the flame. My first thought was I left something on in the kitchen and I went running? I went running into the kitchen, saw that nothing was on, looked out the window, saw what looked like a burning branch on the fence line, called the fire department," said Goldstein.

"Upon first arrival, the first companies found heavy fire coming out of the building and breaching into the adjacent structure at 1005 Miller Avenue," said Berkeley Dep. Fire Chief Gil Dong.

During the response a live power line fell on an engine company and those firefighters had to abandon the vehicle. Another engine had to set up a water line. PG&E crews were then dispatched out to fix the downed power line.

Two homes were heavily damaged, one of them was next door to the house Goldstein was house-sitting at and then his father's home had some damage as well.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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