BERKELEY - A five-alarm that destroyed the warehouses of three West Berkeley businesses on Saturday night caused an estimated $9 million in damage, Berkeley fire Acting Deputy Chief Avery Webb said today.
The fire, which was reported at about 8 p.m. in the 1800 block of Second Street, caused about $7 million damage to the structure, a roughly 20,000-square-foot warehouse complex, and $2 million in damage to the contents inside, Webb said.
The massive fire took firefighters until 1 a.m. to control and left the complex a pile of smoldering rubble and brick walls.
Three business were affected -- the Wooden Duck, Import Tile and Joshua Tree.
The Wooden Duck and Import Tile lost warehouses and all the stock that had been stored there. Joshua Tree -- an artisan's collective for woodworkers, engineers and builders -- was entirely housed in the burned structure and took devastating losses.
Members of the Joshua Tree collective are largely struggling artists who lost their livelihood in the blaze and are planning upcoming fundraisers to get back on their feet, Joshua Tree proprietor Joshua Goldberg said Wednesday.
Their first fundraiser is tentatively scheduled for June 14.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Webb said earlier this week that it does not appear that the fire was intentionally set.
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