Authorities say the men had more than 1,700 personal items that did not belong to them, including mail, checks and ID cards, as well as a gun and ammunition.
The Firewise program helps neighbors form a plan to reduce wildfire risk. Berkeley’s first group formed this spring, and three more are in the works.
One neighbor told Berkeleyside she woke in the night to hear “firefighters chain sawing the roof down.”
Firefighters had to take an elderly woman out through her bedroom window because flames had reached her interior doorway when they got inside.
Authorities did not immediately know whether the man lived in the area or was visiting.
No injuries were reported in the Sunday evening fire on Fairview Street, but a longtime South Berkeley family has lost their home.
Fireworks remain prohibited, and several roads and parking lots commonly used as viewpoints for Fourth of July celebrations in the Berkeley Hills will be closed to vehicles.
Two fires were reported in Albany Sunday afternoon. A security guard told police a Berkeley woman may have set one of them.
Abraham Roman will assume the position of deputy chief of operations at the San Rafael Fire Department on June 27.
“We know we have big challenges ahead,” Berkeley Fire Chief Abe Roman said recently. “We all have to adapt to this new normal.”
The city has cut down nearly 300 trees, mostly eucalyptus and Monterey pine, since 2019 and is now ramping up defensible space inspections of private property in high-fire areas.
Witnesses described smoke billowing from the building and people hanging out of windows on the second floor.