6-alarm fire breaks out in downtown Berkeley – Berkeleyside

Firefighters battle a blaze at 2067 University Ave., Nov. 21, 2020. Photo: Berkeley Police Department

Firefighters and police responded to a six-alarm fire in downtown Berkeley on Saturday evening at a building under construction on University Avenue, according to preliminary reports.

The fire was reported at 2067 University, a new seven-story building under construction just west of Shattuck Avenue, just before 5:40 p.m. No injuries have been reported.

There was no information available as of about 7 p.m. as to how the fire started, but Assistant Berkeley Fire Chief Keith May said firefighters from Berkeley, Albany, Oakland, Piedmont and the city and county of Alameda were on scene.

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Police officers evacuated buildings in the 2000 block of University Avenue up to Shattuck Avenue as firefighters attacked the blaze, according to emergency dispatch traffic. The block includes many local businesses.

First responders expressed concerns over the radio that the building might collapse onto University Avenue as a result of the fire. The street is closed to traffic during the emergency response.

Firefighters battle a six-alarm blaze at 2067 University Ave., Nov. 21, 2020. Photo: Pete Rosos

According to initial reports, callers saw flames moving from the second floor to the third floor, with white smoke showing. The fire was quickly upgraded to a two-alarm fire and eventually was classified as a six-alarm fire.

As of 6:45 p.m., authorities were closing down all eastbound traffic on University Avenue from Martin Luther King Jr. Way to allow additional firefighting resources into the area.

First responders have also called in PG&E, the East Bay Municipal Utility District and the American Red Cross, according to reports from the scene.

This story has been updated due to the developing nature of events.