Six alarm fire destroys Berkeley apartment building under construction

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Firefighters battling the construction site blaze in Berkeley (Photo - Berkeley Police Department)

Firefighters battled a six-alarm fire on Nov. 21 at an apartment building under construction near the University of California campus in Berkeley.

Berkeley firefighters received support from departments in neighbouring Oakland, Piedmont, Emeryville, Albany and El Cerrito, along with the The Alameda County Fire Department

“We can handle two-alarms, so that puts all of our 7 engines, 2 truck companies, 2 ambulance companies and command staff to work,” Berkeley Fire Department Assistant Chief Keith May was quoted as saying by CBS-2 (KPIX). “But because of the size of it, and the building and the exposures, we had to call in for additional resources.”

May told Berkeleyside that workers had been at the construction site at 2067 University Ave. until 5 p.m. doing concrete and carpentry work.

The scene captured on social media showed crews working as flames shot from windows and the roof of the multi-story building.

Berkeley approved plans at the site in 2016 for a seven-story building with 50 units and a ground-floor restaurant. Trachtenberg Architects designed the project.

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Rendering of the destroyed building

“It’s apocalyptic man, apocalyptic, that’s all I can say,” Max Levine told the broadcaster. “I’ve never seen anything like this on University before but when we saw these trucks and all this water aiming up there, this is like nothing I’ve ever seen in downtown Berkeley.”

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