A Berkeley Fire Department vehicle, February 2022. Police and fire officials are investigating after an Oxford Street building caught fire twice in six days. Credit: Kelly Sullivan

Police have mounted arson investigations into two fires that broke out at the same North Berkeley residential building six days apart.

Both police and fire officials processed the scene, in the 1100 block of Oxford Street, and police detectives are continuing to investigate in the area, said Berkeley police spokesperson Officer Jessica Perry.

Firefighters first went to the three-story building after a 911 caller reported a fire there at 5:35 a.m. on July 19, said Dafina Dailey, a spokesperson for the Berkeley Fire Department.

Firefighters found white smoke coming from outside the building, and witnesses said they saw flames around the house and in the backyard, Dailey said. “Upon investigation, the siding of the house was on fire due to possible arson, and residents stated they saw a strip of gasoline fuel next to the house,” she said.

A resident had already put out part of the fire with a garden hose and a dry chemical extinguisher, Dailey said. Everyone inside got out safely, and there were no injuries to firefighters either.

Dailey said another fire was confirmed at the same building at 3:55 a.m. Tuesday. There was a “strong smell of gas” at that fire, Perry said.

Nobody was displaced after the fire on July 19, Dailey said. But after the more recent fire two units in the building have been “red-tagged,” or marked uninhabitable, and another three “yellow-tagged,” or fit only for restricted access, Perry said.

Detectives are continuing to canvass the neighborhood but, as of Friday, had not gathered enough evidence to point to a particular suspect or motive, Perry said. Police asked anyone with information on the fire to call their non-emergency line, 510-981-5900, or 911 in case of an emergency.

This story was updated after publication with new information from city police and fire officials.

Alex N. Gecan joined Berkeleyside in 2023 as a senior reporter covering public safety. He has covered criminal justice, courts and breaking and local news for The Middletown Press, Stamford Advocate and...