BERKELEY -- Firefighters quickly contained a single-alarm house fire believed to have been sparked when a seagull landed on a 12,000-volt electrical line Tuesday morning.
The fire and the sound of an explosion heard by residents a mile away were reported at 1113 Delaware St. at about 8:14 a.m., officials said. Live electrical wires ignited grass on the side of the home, but there were no reports of injuries.
The seagull had apparently landed on an electrical line, shorting it out, and then the line broke and fell on the ground, sparking the grass fire, officials said.
A PG&E crew was called to the scene and secured the wires, but the fire had spread to the attic of the home, according to Berkeley Fire deputy Chief Gil Dong. Residents of that house and nearby homes were safely evacuated.
James Albert, a nearby resident, said after the wire sparked, "I saw a blue flash and I came out and saw a dead seagull laying on the ground and a wire sparking in the street."
Albert also saw smoke coming from the grass, and with another person tried to put out the flames with fire extinguishers. However, they saw a power line arcing and moved away from the scene.
The fire did about $75,000 in damage to the house, said Berkeley Fire Battalion Chief Bill Kehoe.
Contact Daniel M. Jimenez at 510-262-2728. Follow him at Twitter.com/DMJreports.