BERKELEY -- Mary Everett is happy her building is still standing and the smell of ribs and beef brisket will continue to waft down San Pablo Avenue after an overnight fire at her 38-year-old Everett and Jones Barbeque restaurant.

"The best part about it is that nobody got hurt, my building is still standing and we still have jobs," Everett said Tuesday morning as she surveyed the damage, surrounded by her sons and extended family.

Everett said she planned to reopen the iconic barbecue restaurant near the corner of University Avenue later in the day.

The fire at the rear of the red cinder-block building was reported at 2:41 a.m. and under control by 3:14 a.m., a dispatcher said. The fire damaged the outside of the rear of the building, but did not damage the inside, Everett said.

The fire did about $30,000 in damage, and the cause is "undetermined," Berkeley deputy fire Chief Gil Dong said.

"We were unable to locate any heat sources or ignition sources in the area," he said, "but we can't positively identify it as an intentionally set fire."

Everett has a feeling it was not an accident.

"I think someone was cold last night and started a fire to get warm," Everett said.

Doug Oakley covers Berkeley. Contact him at 510-843-1408. Follow him at Twitter.com/douglasoakley.



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