Berkeley Rebuilt After Fire
Just four years ago, Berkeley, Cal., experienced a conflagration that destroyed a large part of the city. It started from a grass fire that got out of control. Today the devastated area is entirely reconstructed and there is scarcely a tell tale mark to indicate that fire of such proportions had visited the city.
Since the disaster there have been 33,500 feet of water mains laid in that section. Of this amount 3,300 feet are 12-inch mains and 25,100 are six-inch mains.
The fire department has twelve more men and two major pieces of fire apparatus.
Fire towers on Grizzly Peak and Round Top, where watchmen are stationed night and day to watch for fires during the dry seasons, insure against grass and brush fires getting beyond control and threatening Berkeley. Since the Grizzly Peak tower has been erected 115 hill fires or supposed fires have been reported by the lookout and a sxpiad sent to cope with them.
Two new fire stations have been erected in the area which was swept by flames four years ago this afternoon when $10,000,000 of buildings and contents were destroyed. The LeRoy Avenue Fire Station which was burned when the fire leveled four city blocks of residences, has been replaced by an artistic fire station at 2550 Virginia Street at a cost of $14,787. Here a combination hose-chemical truck, manned by four men in command of Captain William Connors, is stationed. A second fire station has been erected at 1180 Arch Street, costing approximately the same as the Virginia Street station and here are stationed Captain T. A. Andrews and a company of four men.
In the so-called fire area there are now 68 new hydrants and 22 other hydrants have been changed over to larger mains.
New residences, apartments, fraternity and sorority houses and other buildings today adorn the district which at 6 o’clock four years ago today lay in smouldering ruins. Undying faith in Berkeley has resulted in citizens building a better Berkeley, an immense area of artistic homes equal to any district in the country. Only here and there is still to be seen reminders of the conflagration. Another year and probably these will disappear.
In the year following the fire $1,887,349 went into rehabilitation of the devastated area. The next year saw $982,375 in new homes. Between September 17, 1925 and 1926. permits for new structures having an estimated cost of $842,521 were issued. This past year close to $500,000 has gone into new buildings in this area.