Photo: Christine McGuinness
Firefighters responded to a blaze in a dumpster in West Berkeley on Tuesday. Photo: Christine McGuinness

UPDATE, 9:30 p.m.: When Berkeley firefighters arrived on the scene of Tuesday’s fire in the 600 block of Virginia Street, they found a storage container, which had been illegally converted into a living unit, on fire, according to Berkeley Fire Chief Gil Dong. The fire, which was quickly extinguished, was caused by improperly discarded smoking materials that started some vegetation on fire and spread to the container, Gong said. There were no injuries and one person was displaced. Damage was limited to the container.

ORIGINAL STORY: Authorities are responding to a fire in West Berkeley.

Berkeley Fire Chief Gil Dong said the department has responded to an exterior dumpster fire in the 600 block of Virginia Street. He said no additional information is available at this time.

Reports of the fire began coming in to Berkeleyside just before 3:50 p.m.

Reader Kenneth Goldberg said on Twitter that there appeared to be a “significant looking fire 2 blks N of University Ave at 4th. Can see from hills.”

Reader Ira Serkes posted the following videos of the fire on Facebook. Serkes also said he was told by a man who works nearby that people were living in the shipping container shown in the first video.

Said reader Christine McGuinness shortly before 4 p.m., “Firefighters on scene. Smoke now white (almost out?) looks from a distance like it was in one of the machinery yards – doesn’t look like there was damage to any structures.”

KGO Radio is reporting that the fire’s location is a concrete facility.

Berkeleyside will update this story as more information becomes available. Tracey Taylor contributed additional reporting to this story.

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Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist...