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Update, July 5, 10:25 a.m.: The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to BFD Assistant Fire Chief Keith May. He said BFD received the first call at 10:02 p.m. and the first unit arrived on scene at 10:06 p.m.  

The Berkeley Fire Department responded to a fire on the property of a home in the 1200 block of Josephine Street, at Hopkins Street, on Thursday night.

Flames and smoke could be seen from around 10 p.m. in the back of a home (see video above), and several engines were on scene within a few minutes.

There were no immediate reports of injuries, and the fire appeared to be under control by around 10:20 p.m.

Two close neighbors said the fire was in a structure at the back of the house. An immediate neighbor said the flames had burned his garage. Several neighbors who called 911 to report the fire said they initially got an automatic message asking to hold the line as all operators were busy.

Three engines were still on scene at 11:20 p.m., as was BFD Captain Tim MacIsaac who said the structure that burned was a shed, and a vehicle on the property also partly burned. The cause of the fire was under investigation, he said. MacIsaac confirmed that it was a busy night for BFD. “It’s July 4th,” he said by way of explanation.

The fire on Josephine Street was at the back of a home. Photo: Tracey Taylor
BFD and BPD were on scene at the 1200 block of Josephine. Photo: Tracey Taylor

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...