Berkeley Gazette Warehouse Destroyed by Fire

Berkeley Gazette Warehouse Destroyed by Fire

A late afternoon fire which raged through the warehouse of the Berkeley Gazette at 2043 Allston Way, Berkeley, Calif., did damage estimated at $100,000 and gave all of Berkeley’s fourteen fire companies a tough battle.

Walter Standart, a mail clerk, told fire officials he passed through the warehouse en route to the nearby post office about 5:30 p. m. and that everything seemed to be all right. When he returned five minutes later, the warehouse was a mass of flames.

He pulled Box 3251 at Harold Way and Allston at 5:36 p. m., bringing in Engines 2 and 4, Water Wagon 1, Truck 2 and Chief William Meinheit. Chief Meinheit ordered a second alarm at 5:38 and a third at 5:43.

Engines 3 and 6, Hose Wagons 5 and 8, and Truck 1 responded on the second alarm, while Engine 1, Hose Wagons 7 and 9, Water Wagon 2 and Squad 1 responded on the third alarm. The third alarm left no companies in service and the city was entirely stripped of apparatus with the exception of several reserve hose wagons, a water wagon and auxiliary equipment.

Delegates at the 1943 Session of the North Carolina Fire College and Drill School About 350 were in attendance at the annual fire college and drill school held at the Palmer Drill School in Charlotte, N. C., on May 25 to 27, under the auspices of the North Carolina Firemen’s Association. Chief W. H. Palmer was bost to the meeting.

Chief Meinheit asked the Oakland Fire Department to assign companies to cover in. The request was made at 5:47 p. m. and at 5:58 Engines 8 and 18 of the Oakland Fire Department reported in service in the quarters of Berkeley Engine 2, Durant and Shattuck Avenue. One minute later, both Oakland companies responded to Box 2526 at Jefferson and Allston, where they extinguished a small fire hastily and with little loss. Meanwhile, the Oakland department stood by, ready to dispatch more apparatus, either to fill in or to take in one or both of the fires.

Two Berkeley fire department lieutenants, Eugene Roark and Chester Moller, were injured during the warehouse blaze which destroyed 300 tons of newsprint, type metal and other newspaper supplies.

The Elks Building and five other nearby structures were damaged and one auto burned in an adjoining parking lot.

Auxiliary firemen aided the Berkeley department in fighting the blaze, which was not completely extinguished for four hours.

Berkeley, located in what is known as the East Bay section bordering San Francisco Bay, has mutual aid agreements with contiguous cities.

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